• Kyodo


Midfielder Naoya Kikuchi, who was released by J. League club Jubilo Iwata last summer after being arrested for having sex with a 15-year-old girl, has signed for German second-division club FC Carl Zeiss Jena. According to the club’s official Web site posted Sunday, the deal runs through the summer of next year and the 23-year-old may make his debut on Wednesday against Arminia Bielefeld in the German Cup. A member of Japan’s Athens Olympic squad, Kikuchi was arrested last June after admitting to having sex with a 15-year-old high school student in a car in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in late May, violating a local law that prohibits sex with those below 18. The Japan Football Association handed Kikuchi a one-year domestic suspension. He had since looked for an opportunity to play overseas and had success in impressing Jena officials during a recent trial.

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