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Saturday’s U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League contest pitting the five-time defending champion Yokosuka Seahawks against the Misawa Marauders was called off because no referees were available to officiate the contest, league officials said Saturday.

No makeup date was announced. Acting USFJ-AFL commissioner Matt Kalcevich said the game might be rescheduled for Aug. 6.

According to Kalcevich, the local officials association’s contract with 35th Services at Misawa Air Base expired and was not renewed. An attempt to get a handful of officials from the Yokosuka Naval Base association to referee fell through, Kalcevich said.

It’s the second postponement this season for a league that last year played its full slate without a single cancellation or postponement due to weather or transportation problems or military commitments. From 2000-03, 30 games suffered that fate.

It was not immediately known if the reason for Saturday’s postponement will cause Misawa’s home game against Yokota, slated for July 23, to be rescheduled or moved. Yokota has no home field this season, and has played its home games at Atsugi Naval Air Facility.

League officials hoped to start the playoffs on Aug. 6, hoping to avoid conflict with Air Force duty commitments later that month.

If the Yokosuka-Misawa game is pushed back to Aug. 6, one possibility might be to push the playoffs back to September, Kalcevich indicated.

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