The latest on Kyogo, the Japan FA and a huge Celtic derby

By John McGinley

December 27, 2021

Japanese Football Association technical director Yasuharu Sorimach has confirmed they will seek special dispensation from the government that allows stars such as Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi to be called up for World Cup qualifiers.

The Japanese FA have already confirmed they will call up domestic-based players only for a friendly against Uzbekistan on January 21st, complying with government rules that prevent people from travelling into the country.

So Celtic will have their forward available for the Scottish Premiership restart on January 17th.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Japan are hoping to call up Celtic star Kyogo and company

However, the national team will make a plea to call up Kyogo and others for subsequent matches against China and Saudi Arabia, with their World Cup qualifying hopes hanging in the balance.

As quoted by The Sunday Post, Sorimach said: “The Japanese government should know the significance of our participation in the World Cup in Qatar.

“I believe we will negotiate various conditions for the games against China and Saudi Arabia. It is imperative we have our best squad for the game. At the moment, I am praying, and keeping an hourly watch on the Omicron trends.”

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If successful, they could be granted an exemption, allowing their foreign-based players to jet in for the fixtures starting on January 27th.

This is obviously relevant to Celtic considering the Bhoys have some crucial games around this period, including a massive derby at home to Rangers on February 2nd.

Having Kyogo available for that one would be a significant boost. This JFA stance also has the ability to see Celtic miss new signings such as Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate if they are confirmed and subsequently called up for their country.

It’s a situation the club will have to be monitoring very closely. If we’re missing too many players for the derby, there are avenues to explore.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou makes Celtic transfer intentions for “important” defender clear.