• Kyodo News

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Toru Kamikawa, the first Japanese referee to take charge of a World Cup match beyond the first round, has decided to end his international career, the Japan Football Association said Monday.

Kamikawa, 43, has been dropped from the list of international referees the JFA will submit to FIFA shortly, two years before reaching the mandatory retirement age set by soccer’s world governing body.

“Even before the World Cup I made up my mind to retire as an international referee this year and it is a natural decision now that I have achieved my personal goal,” said Kamikawa, who officiated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals.

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