Japan Cancels Copa America Plans


Japan has cancelled plans to play the Copa America tournament in July, Argentine Football Federation (AFA) president Julio Grondona said Monday.

"We are sorry to inform you that the Japanese team cannot participate in the Copa America 2011 in Argentina. We apologize deeply," said a letter from the Japanese football association disclosed by the AFA.

Japan's participation in the South American championships, to which they were invited to play, was cast into doubt after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the country's Pacific coast.

The Japanese football association finally decided to take part, but then ran into problems with convincing European clubs to release their Japanese players ahead of the start of the new season.

Japan was drawn in Group A along with hosts Argentina, Colombia and Bolivia.

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