The Japan national men’s team will host an international friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on June 5, the Japan Football Association said Friday.
The friendly at Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture is likely to be the Samurai Blue’s last match before departing for the Copa America in Brazil.
Japan will be making its second guest appearance at the South American continental tournament running from June 14 to July 7.
Trinidad and Tobago, currently 93rd in the FIFA rankings, will use the match as a tune-up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts on June 15.
Japan climbed one place to 26 in the latest FIFA rankings released this month.
ABOVE SOURCE: Kyodo News
T&T set for Japan friendly, TTFA board member claims Warriors schedule has become DJW’s exclusive business.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team will travel to Japan for an international friendly at the Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture on 5 June, one week after the Soca Warriors play Venezuela in Caracas.
The two outings are part of head coach Dennis Lawrence’s warm-up for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, which kicks off on 15 June. Venezuela and Japan are preparing for the 2019 Copa America tournament which starts on 14 June in Brazil. Japan and Qatar both appear in the South American competition as guest nations.
Lawrence will not have his full team for the Venezuela friendly as it falls outside the FIFA international match window but should have no problem in getting his best players to face Japan.
The Warriors, who are ranked 93rd in the world, are on a three match losing streak at present, after friendly losses against Wales, Iran and Thailand. Their last win came on 6 September 2018 when they downed the United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Spain.
Lawrence’s troops will not have an easy time against Japan and Venezuela either with their upcoming sparring partners ranked 26th and 29th in the world respectively. Trinidad and Tobago have played only once on home soil in the last 17 months, which was a 1-0 loss against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 17 April 2018.
There was a note of concern sounded by Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member Keith Look Loy, who revealed that the Warriors’ international schedule has become the exclusive business of president David John-Williams with games announced without any discussion at board level.
“The board knew nothing at all about the games,” Look Loy told Wired868. “For instance, who knows if the board may have decided that Venezuela is too unstable and volatile at the moment and we don’t want our players to travel there—but we never had the chance to discuss it.
“When the national coach can be talking about a game being financially beneficial to us and the board knows nothing about it, it shows that there is an inner circle running football and the board has no real power and is nothing but an encumbrance.”
Last month, Look Loy won a High Court judgment against John-Williams, which ordered the TTFA president to make the financial information of the football body immediately available to the dissatisfied board member.
John-Williams did not respond to a query from Wired868 on why the TTFA board continues to be omitted from negotiations on the booking of national football matches.
T&T to face Japan and Venezuela in Gold Cup warm ups.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has secured two international friendlies against Venezuela in Sabana Grande on May 29th and Japan at the Toyota Stadium in Aichi on June 5th. These games will serve as part of the build up to the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Head coach Dennis Lawrence is also eyeing a couple of friendly matches with Caribbean opposition to cater specifically for the local players to get the opportunity to make the team.
However, he made it clear that matches against regional teams will only be known after the CONCACAF Gold Cup draw on April 10 in Los Angeles which he is attending along with team manager Richard Piper.
Coming on the end of the recent friendly match against Wales on March 20, Lawrence said the games were secured in line with their overall preparation for the Qatar World Cup, for which the Gold Cup is a crucial hurdle.
According to Lawrence, “One of the things we tried to ensure happen, as we play an international friendly at every window, which we have managed to do, through the good works of the TTFA and the president. The next thing we decided to do was to up the ante, in terms of the opposition, and if you look back at the last six games, we played against countries in the top 50 of the FIFA rankings, which is of good credit to what the president has done.”
“We now head in to the last stage, going into the Gold Cup and a big part of it is that with the absence of the League at the moment, we have got to find a way in particular for the local players, because if we don’t do something they will be at a very big disadvantage. With these games we have arranged against Venezuela and Japan, that should take care of our Gold Cup preparation. From a financial point of view, the benefits are vital for us, it will help us from that aspect, so now we can say how will go about preparing for the Gold Cup.”