Japan will no longer compete at the Copa America in the summer as the country is currently trying to recover from the natural disaster it suffered last month.
The organisation committee of the 2011 Copa America has asked the Japan Football Association to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the tournament, due to take place this June.
But they are also considering a replacement, and so far both Costa Rica and Spain were considered. Spain could be in line to be the first European nation to ever compete in the Copa America.
Vicente del Bosque has admitted that he is interested in the possibility of entering the Copa America in three months time, as sources from both Argentina and the European nation confirm that an invitation has been tabled.
Although Costa Rica are reported to be the favourites to join the South American tournament following Japan’s withdrawal, the world and European champions have emerged as a dream inclusion following discussions between the heads of the Argentine and Spanish FAs, Julio Grondona and Angel Maria Villar.
El Pais reports that the Spanish FA (RFEF) has officially received the invitation to enter the Copa, and will meet on April 13 to discuss whether they will accept the opportunity to be the first European team to compete in the tournament.
Del Bosque for one showed himself open to the idea, saying: “There is definitely a possibility that Spain will enter the Copa America this year.
He tried however to play down fans’ hopes, remarking that “the option needs to be thoroughly discussed.”
I have very mixed feelings about this. I’m concerned about the exhaustion factor when Spain enters Euro 2012 after having played four consecutive summers (if the invitation is accepted). Wear and tear and injuries, also. On the other hand, it would be an opportunity to bring some of the up and coming newbies into the team and test them out since Puyol, Capedvila, Xavi and Villa can’t be around forever.:(