TOKYO - Japan defender Tulio has called for October's home friendly against Togo to be moved from Oita's "sand pit of a pitch" to reduce the risk of injury. The Brazilian-born defender blasted the state of the pitch after Urawa Reds were beaten 1-0 at Oita's World Cup stadium in midweek. "It was like a sand pit," Tulio told Saturday's Japanese media. "I don't want to risk getting injured or feel like that ever again." The 28-year-old called on Japan Football Association president Motoaki Inukai to consider switching the venue for Japan's October 14 Kirin Cup friendly with Togo. "I would like Mr. Inukai to do something," said Tulio, recently back from a lengthy injury layoff. "If nothing is done about that pitch he should rethink. This is not beach soccer." Japan, who have qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa, face Scotland in Yokohama on October 10 in the opening game of the three-nation Kirin Cup tournament.
25 July 2009
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