15 Apr 2011

Japan decide they will play in Copa America

5:56 am on 15 April 2011

Japan will play in this year's Copa America football tournament in Argentina having reversed a decision to pull out of the tournament after the country's north-eastern coast was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami last month.

Japan, who played as guests at the 1999 Copa America in Paraguay, were drawn with hosts Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia.

The JFA decision to take up the guest spot in the July the 1st to 24th event will not please European clubs who are reluctant to lose their Japanese players.

Bundesliga side Schalke 04 have already objected to releasing defender Atsuto Uchida.

J-League authorities have offered conditional support to the JFA decision, saying coach Alberto Zaccheroni could pick only one player from each club.

Tashima says he doesn't expect all of Japan's players to be available but the squad must be strong enough to protect the reputation of the country and the tournament.