CONMEBOL have asked the JFA to think again after Japan withdrew from this summer’s Copa America.
JFA President Junji Ogura told former FIFA Executive Committee colleagues Julio Grondona & Nicolas Leoz in Buenos Aires this week that Japan had no plans to travel to Argentina following the turmoil caused to the J-League after March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
As it stands, the J-League is due to fulfill its postponed fixtures in July at the same time as the Copa America, creating a club v country headache.
Spain were hastily offered Togel Singapore Japan’s place but the JFA have now been given until Friday the 15th of April to decide whether to participate after all. CONMEBOL are understood to have tempted the JFA with a profit share to help disaster relief efforts in Japan.
In addition to the ten South American nations, Mexico once more make up the numbers in the twelve-team competition, which concludes on the 24th of July with the final in Buenos Aires’ Estadio Monumental, home of River Plate.
Copa America 2011 – 1st – 24th July, Argentina
FIFA World Rankings in brackets
Japan (15)/Spain (1)
(c) Sean O’Conor & Soccerphile; photo by Iman Simon.
FIFA Presidential deadline passes
The deadline for nominations for FIFA President passed at midnight CET last night, with the final count announced on Monday.
Barring a miracle, however, we can be fairly sure the finaBlatterl battle will be between incumbent Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam, with the vote due on the 1st of June.
Former Chilean star Elias Figueroa pulled out at the last minute, while US sportswriter Grant Wahl predictably failed to win support with his ‘citizen’s bid’ for the top job, inspired by Norman Mailer’s attempt to become mayor of New York City in 1969.
Bin Hammam, boosted by his nation’s controversial capture of the 2022 World Cup Finals, is hoping to be the first Asian president of the organisation. Expect he and Blatter to do their bit for the planet as they jet around the 280 member nations over the next couple of months pressing flesh and promising the earth in exchange for a vote.