Italian-based striker Atsushi Yanagisawa will not join Japan’s squad for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against India, the Japan Football Association announced Monday.
Yanagisawa was initially included in Japan’s 23-man squad, which was announced by the JFA on Aug. 25, and scheduled to join his teammates in India for the Group 3 match in Calcutta.
“We didn’t plan to include him in the starting lineup this time and I thought it would be better for him to focus on his game in Italy,” Japan coach Zico said in explaining the decision to allow Yanagisawa to pull out of the India game.
On Sunday, Yanagisawa, who is training with his new club Messina, told reporters that he would not go to India and had conveyed his intention to the JFA.
The JFA also made it official that Shunsuke Nakamura, a midfielder with fellow Italian first-division side Reggina, had been dropped from the squad for the India clash due to a sore back.
Officials close to the national side said over the weekend that Nakamura would not be participating after complaining of lower back pain following Japan’s successful Asian Cup campaign in China earlier this summer.
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