Juninho quits bid for Japan team

Kyodo News

Kawasaki Frontale striker Juninho has given up on obtaining Japanese nationality since FIFA rules do not allow a player who has competed at international level to switch to another country, soccer sources said Friday.

The 31-year-old Brazilian, who intended to join Japan’s national squad, made four Under-20 match appearances for his country in the past. He has also found it difficult due to a lack of Japanese language ability, the sources said.

Juninho led the J. League first division with 22 goals in 2007 and has scored seven times in 24 matches this season.