Football: Barca to pay tribute to Fukushima disaster victims

10th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Barcelona will pay a tribute to the victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster next week while in Japan for the Club World Cup, the Spanish giants said Friday.

Barcelona players will wear commemorative shirts and be photographed beside children representing the victims of the disaster at a solidarity event held at the end of the the club's training session on Tuesday at the Yokohama Marinos grounds, the club said in a statement.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and giant tsunami on March 11 knocked out the cooling system at the atomic power plant at Fukushima in Japan's northeastern coast and sent some of its reactors into meltdown, spewing radiation into the air, sea and food chain in the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

No deaths have been directly attributed to the nuclear accident, but it has displaced tens of thousands of people and left large areas of land uninhabitable, possibly for decades.

The Barcelona squad will head to Tokyo for the Club World Cup on Saturday right after they face Real Madrid in their first El Clasico of the current season at Real's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

The tournament, which involves the champions of FIFA's six confederations, wraps up on December 18.

In May FIFA president Sepp Blatter decided the event would go ahead in Japan after receiving assurances that teams would not be exposed to radiation from the crippled nuclear plant located some 250 kilometres (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

Japan hosted the lucrative Club World Cup from 2005-08 before it went to the United Arab Emirates for two years.

© 2011 AFP

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