Soccer

Miyama staying with Okayama

Kyodo

Japan women’s captain Aya Miyama has been persuaded to remain at Okayama Yunogo Belle, the club announced Wednesday.

The 31-year-old midfielder expressed her intention to leave the club late last month after being upset by the way the players were treated by interim coach Haruo Yuki before his dismissal.

“I’m sorry to have caused many of the fans and those associated with the team to worry,” said Miyama, who had operations on both of her knees in June. “I’ll do my best to get back to the team as soon as I can, concentrating on my rehab first.”

The team’s new president Yuzo Tanimoto said, “I reckon the fans’ voices (lamenting her intention to leave) reached her. We’ll work toward making this team more open and loved by the people in the area.”

While Miyama, three-time Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Player of the Year, is staying put, goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto, who won the 2011 World Cup together with Miyama and played in the London Games a year later to help Nadeshiko Japan secure a silver medal, is leaving along with two other players.

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