TOKYO - Japan's participation as guests
in this year's Copa America looks set to be scrapped amid the
chaos caused by last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Football Association President Junji Ogura (pictured) left for
South America on Sunday to inform tournament organisers it was
no longer feasible for the 'Blue Samurai' to take part.
"We asked them to allow us to play and they agreed," Ogura
told Japan's Nikkan Sports newspaper. "I will have to explain
the situation in Japan as it's not our decision to make.
"But they understand we have to use July (for rescheduled
J-League matches)," he added, underlining Japan's involvement in
the July 1-24 Copa America in Argentina was unworkable.
As a result of the force 9.0 quake and massive tsunami which
tore through northeast Japan after it, more than 11,000 were
killed while over 15,000 are still missing.
The disaster has caused cancellations to sport nationwide
while J-League fixtures have been rescheduled, leaving the JFA
little wiggle room.
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