Japan pull out of Copa America for second time
Tuesday 17 May 2011
Japan have pulled out of the Copa America for the second time in six weeks after failing to get the release of their European-based players, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Monday.
The Japanese, who were invited to the July 1-24 tournament in Argentina as guests, had been persuaded to reverse a decision to withdraw taken on April 4 following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country in March.
"I regret very much to communicate to you that the Japanese national team cannot take part in the Copa America," JFA president Junji Ogura told tournament organising committee chief Jose Luis Meiszner in a letter to the AFA.
"Although the European clubs understand our situation, unfortunately most of them have told us they cannot release their players," Ogura was quoted as saying on the AFA's website (www.afa.org.ar).
Ogura also explained it was difficult to assemble a squad of mainly home-based players since the domestic J-League calendar had been put back six weeks owing to the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead, thousands more missing and sparked a nuclear scare.
The AFA said the South American Football Confederation would send an invitation to Costa Rica on Tuesday asking them if they would like to replace Japan. Should they accept they would go into Group A with hosts Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia.
Latest in Sport
Ireland v England Six Nations match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea vs Tottenham combined XI: Hugo Lloris or Thibaut Courtois? Willian or Christian Eriksen? Who makes the final cut?
Manchester United vs Sunderland match report: Wayne Rooney scores twice but referee Roger East sends off Wes Brown instead of John O'Shea
Scotland vs Italy match report: Italians stun Murrayfield as Scots clinch defeat from the jaws of victory
AP McCoy on Arsenal: 'If I was performing that bad I'd have retired a long time ago'
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet