Japan still pushing for local team in Club World Cup

Japan Football Association president Saburo Kawabuchi said he will continue to lobby for world governing body FIFA to reverse a decision not to allow the J-League champion to play in the Club World Cup. The FIFA Executive Committee last week turned down a proposal from the Club World Cup organizing committee that this year's J-League champion be allowed to play in the tournament in Japan in December along with the club champions from the world's six confederations.

"We haven't given up on it and we'll continue to lobby for a berth through talks with a number of people concerned. I've heard that the door still remains open," Kawabuchi told The Japan Times. The newspaper reported that officials said the majority of the FIFA Executive Committee members insisted that the field of the Club World Cup be limited to the champions of the confederations. But the FIFA executives will discuss the issue again at a meeting in June.

See also: Oceania 'request' changes FIFA 2006 Club Cup (20 Feb) and FIFA 'to allow' host team at 2006 Club World Cup (14 Feb)