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German clubs won't release Japanese stars

  • Kyodo, Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2:35 PM

Japan's problems getting players for the 2011 Copa America continued as Borussia Dortmund became the latest German club to turn its back on the Asian champion's request for players, saying injured star Shinji Kagawa needed to attend summer training before his second Bundesliga season.

"Shinji is coming off a serious injury, and it's necessary for him to prepare with the team before the new season," Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc said. "That would be the best dec ision in his interests. We have a very good relationship with the Japan Football Association. We talked to them when they came over to Germany for January, and we will certainly speak with them again this time."

Kagawa has not played since breaking his foot at the Asian Cup in January. He is still unable to shoot, contrary to reports that he might play in Dortmund's next game against Borussia Moenchengladbach. Schalke 04's Atsuto Uchida and VfB Stuttgart's Shinji Okazaki have also been told they will not be able to play in the Copa America in Argentina.

Following last month's earthquake and tsunami, the J-League was halted and matches rescheduled for the summer. The Japan Football Association reached that agreement with J-League clubs that it would send a team to the Copa America but only take seven or eight J-League players and rely on European clubs to supply the rest of the team.

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