Minggu, 20 Maret 2011

Japan stars to play charity match

Due to the earthquake and tsunami the Japan Football Association had to call off two international friendlies against Montenegro and New Zealand later this month besides suspending regular season matches of the J-League.

Therefore the idea came about to organise a charity match between the national team 'Blue Samurai' and a J-League select squad at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka on March 29 in support of the earthquake and tsunami victims.

Yesterday the JFA had been received confirmation that eight Europe based players in goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (Lierse SK, Belgium); defenders Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan, Italy), Tomoaki Makino (1.FC Cologne, Germany) and Maya Yoshida (VVV Venlo, Netherlands); midfielders Yuki Abe (Leicester City, England) and Makoto Hasebe (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany); and forwards Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble Foot, France) and Akihiro Ienaga (Real Mallorca, Spain) would come to Japan to play the charity match.

Today the JFA got the confirmation for four further of their international players including CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda, the Asian Cup's MVP; besides the Germany based trio of FC Schalke 04 defender Atsuto Uchida, VfB Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki and FC Augsburg midfielder Hajime Hosogai.

Missing from the game will be Borussia Dortmund star midfielder Shinji Kagawa due to an injury as he broke his foot on duty for Japan against hosts Qatar at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup quarterfinals in January.

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni in an earlier message had said he hoped that the all-star match will "help the whole of Japan take the first step toward its reconstruction."

"This match may be held in an unusual setting but we will fight all-out as always by keeping our motivation high," added the Italian Zaccheroni.

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