AFC to tackle attitude problem
By UNUS ALLADIN
THE Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are to hold talks with the Japan Football Association (JFA) in a bid to resolve the 'attitude' problem of J.League clubs towards Asian club competitions.
The AFC are aware of the J.League's poor record of sending their secondary players for matches in both the Asian Cup Winners' Championship and the Asian Club Championship. And they want the trend to stop.
'We have actually made, in the past, requests to have J.League sides send their best players to matches but it seems that the Japan Football Association has no control over these clubs,' an AFC spokesman said.
'This problem seems to be coming only from the J.League and it is not right because we feel Asian club competition should take precedence,' he added.
There is a growing chorus complaining about the J.League clubs' attitude and Uhlsport-Rangers have become the latest side to be frustrated by the Japanese teams' lack of star quality for their Asian Cup Winners' Championship second-round tie with Yokohama Flugels last night.
Flugels left their first-team squad behind for the domestic Jomo Cup - an exhibition match between the J.League's best Japanese players and the foreign stars which the domestic XI won 3-1.
It is not the first time J.League teams have given Asian Club competitions less priority as Eastern discovered last month when Verdy Kawasaki sent an under-strength side for their first-round tie in the Asian Clubs' Championship.
Verdy were missing four of their leading players - goalkeeper Shinkichi Kikuchi, defender Tetsuji Hashiratani, midfielder Tsuyoshi Kitazawa and star striker Kazuyoshi Miura - because they were selected to represent Japan in a friendly against Paraguay a few days later.