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Soccer: Consadole resume training following Hokkaido earthqake

Blackout in Sapporo on Sept. 6, 2018, following a magnitude-6.7 earthquake (Kyodo)

SAPPORO (Kyodo) -- J-League first-division side Consadole Sapporo resumed training on Saturday, two days after a powerful earthquake caused severe damage across Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

The magnitude 6.7 earthquake early Thursday morning has left dozens dead, many of them in landslides.

The quake also temporarily cut off power to millions of homes around Hokkaido, including the residences of several Consadole players and staff in the prefectural capital Sapporo.

Consadole manager Mihailo Petrovic said the club wanted to give encouragement to people who had been badly affected by the disaster.

"We're back up and running. We want to give a show of courage, energy and hope for the sake of those who have been affected," Petrovic said.

Hokkaido-born captain Hiroki Miyazawa said members of the club, whose facilities were undamaged in the quake, were thinking of people who were still suffering.

"There are people in far worse situations than us. We want to send them a positive message through our football," Miyazawa said.

Thailand international midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin said he and his Consadole teammates would "work hard together" to that end.

Fourth-place Consadole are scheduled to play their next league match away to Kawasaki Frontale on Sept. 15.

The Kirin Challenge Cup international friendly between Japan and Chile, which had been scheduled for Friday at Sapporo Dome, was canceled because of the earthquake.

A Japan Rugby Top League match between Kobe Kobelco Steelers and Munakata Sanix Blues, scheduled for Saturday at Sapporo's Tsukisamu Rugby Ground, was postponed.

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