• Kyodo

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Former Japan defender Yutaka Akita said he will end his career at the end of this season due to his reduced playing time with J. League second-division club Kyoto Sanga. “I had decided to quit if I didn’t get to play half of the (48) games this season,” Akita said in the team’s practice field in Joyo, Kyoto Prefecture. “I had a satisfactory career — winning titles in my years with Kashima Antlers and playing in World Cup matches.” It was his first season with Kyoto after moving from first-division side Nagoya Grampus Eight. Akita was a member of the Japanese squads in the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

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