Sunday, April 17, 2011

Japan joins Copa after u-turn

Japan will enter the Copa America as a guest in July after all.

Vice-President Kohzo Tashima has confirmed the JFA will send a team of predominantly Europe-based players to the tournament, which takes place in Argentina between the 1st and 24th of July.

"By playing in the tournament," said Tashima, "we can show the rest of the world how the country of Japan is fighting. If we don’t take part in the tournament, it could present a negative impression."

J-League fixtures postponed because of March's earthquake and tsunami have been rescheduled for the same period, which initially caused the JFA to withdraw. But promises of financial aid from CONMEBOL forced a re-think.
The Asian Cup holders will face Colombia and Bolivia before a clash with the hosts in Cordoba.

The top two in three groups plus the two best-placed third-place teams will qualify for
the quarter-finals.

Group B 1st Round


02/07/11, Jujuy: Colombia v Japan
07/07/11, Jujuy: Bolivia v Japan
11/07/11, Cordoba: Argentina v Japan

-Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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