Japan set to skip Copa America after disaster
TOKYO (Reuters) -- 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 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.