Japan Organise Strange Friendly


Japan have organised a friendly match with Venezuela on February 2nd. The match will begin their 2010 World Cup preparation. The oddity is that Japan have no South American opposition in their group, and are one of the sides with two European opponents. European friendly opponents are not hard to find.

Although Venezuela failed to qualify for next summer’s finals, Japan manager Takeshi Okada feels that it is a good test as “teams from South America always approach matches wanting to win”. Okada told reporters that the game, to be played at Kyushu Oil Dome, “will help toughen Japan up”.

Japan have no further friendlies lined up at the moment, although they will face China, Hong Kong and South Korea at the East Asian Championships in February. March 3rd though is a date set aside for FIFA international friendlies and they are certain to be seeking quality European opposition on that date.

At the World Cup, Japan are drawn into Group E with the Netherlands, Cameroon and Denmark.


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  1. Tim From Texas on

    Its simple. After Okada and co. were screwed over by Scotland and Togo in their last batch of friendlies, Japans management wants to guarantee that the friendlies in which they partake in pre world cup are going to be against full strength squads. Since European Leagues will be full effect, It’s understandable to see why they’d be scared of scheduling friendlies with European sides now. That being said though, I’d like to see them try to get a friendly with Nigeria, who were drawn with South Korea, a team that might genuinely be interested in a friendly with them.