Handball standout Miyazaki eyes move to Europe

Kyodo News

Top Japanese handball player Daisuke Miyazaki is set to leave his corporate team in the hope of making a move to a club in Europe.

His three-year contract with Osaki Electric Co. expires at the end of April and Miyazaki has decided not to re-sign because of his strong desire to play in Europe, Osaki Electric general manager Hiroshi Yanai said Friday.

Miyazaki plans to leave for Europe around April 20 for contract talks and is most likely to play in Spain, according to handball sources.

“I’d like to test myself in a new environment toward the 2012 London Olympics,” the 27-year-old said.

Miyazaki grabbed the spotlight when Japan earned a replay of the Beijing Olympic qualifying tournament following allegations of biased officiating by Middle Eastern referees. Japan did not qualify.

He played in Spain for about two years from 2001 while taking a leave of absence from Nippon Sport Science University.