• Kyodo

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Japan midfielder Koji Nakata has failed to get official approval from the France Soccer Federation for his transfer to Marseille due to a mixup over the signing date of his contract, according to a French public radio source.

Marseille erroneously dated the contract Feb. 1 since Nakata’s contract with J. League first-division club Kashima Antlers expired Monday — the same day he was to debut with the new French first-division club.

The French soccer federation, however, has agreed to hear the case at an executive committee meeting on Friday after a request from Marseille on Thursday.

On Monday, Marseille announced the formal signing of Nakata to a 18-month deal on its Web site.

But after an agreement on the contract was tentatively confirmed last Saturday, Marseille sent a letter to the French soccer federation on Monday, giving the signing date of Tuesday, Feb. 1.

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