• Kyodo News


Japan Football Association vice president Kozo Tashima said Monday that soccer’s world governing body FIFA will rule on whether Japan striker Shinji Okazaki will be permitted to play for German Bundesliga club Stuttgart after a disagreement over the Asian Cup winner’s transfer from Shimizu S-Pulse.

A certificate of international transfer has not been issued for Okazaki, although Stuttgart announced his signing on Jan. 31. Shimizu is accusing the German club of making procedural errors, including not seeking its agreement before the deal was made.

Tashima said the JFA is taking a neutral stance on the matter. FIFA is scheduled to make an announcement Tuesday on Okazaki’s eligibility to play games but will not issue a temporary international transfer certificate.

“We do not intend to act as a mediator in this and the German Bundesliga is the same way. We are leaving the ruling up to FIFA,” said Tashima.

In a press release issued Monday on Shimizu’s official website, the J1 side posted an English translation, explaining its problems regarding Okazaki’s transfer. The announcement, which appeared in Japanese on Sunday, said “two material breaches of the FIFA Regulations have occurred as a result of Stuttgart’s actions.”

Shimizu said Stuttgart neglected to inform it of negotiations with Okazaki and also entered into a player contract with him effective from Jan. 31, despite Okazaki’s contract with the J. League club being valid until the same date.

“S-Pulse congratulates Shinji Okazaki on attracting attention from such an esteemed club and feels this is a great achievement. However, the announcement has caused S-Pulse some embarrassment, as its agreement was not sought before it was made,” it said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.