Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono was omitted from a provisional 30-man squad for Japan’s defense of the Asian Cup kicking off in China next month and is set to join the country’s Olympic team as an over-age player, the Japan Football Association said Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Ono is one of three over-age players under-23 coach Masakuni Yamamoto wants to take to Athens in August along with goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata and German-based striker Naohiro Takahara, who is recovering from a second bout of deep vein thrombosis.
The JFA has decided that Japan players will not be allowed to appear at both the July 17-Aug. 7 Asian Cup and the Olympic tournament in Athens.
Men’s Olympic teams are made up of the national under-23 sides with three players exempted from the age requirements.
Zico apparently agreed to release Ono for Olympic duty before last week’s World Cup qualifier against India despite missing a number of key overseas-based players for the Asian Cup because of injury.
Fulham’s Junichi Inamoto has been sidelined for three months after breaking his leg while Bologna midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata is suffering from a lingering groin complaint.
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