Australia participation in East Asian Cup likely as Japan expresses approval

The Socceroos' bid to participate in the regional competition, to be held in July 2013 in China, has been received positively by the East Asian Football Federation
Australia moved closer to competing in the 2013 East Asian Cup, with the Japan Football Association appearing positive of their request to join the regional competition.

The participation of the Socceroos in the tournament, which will take place next July in China, was discussed in April at a meeting of the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) Executive Committee. Members of the committee said at the time that Australia's inclusion would add to the "competitiveness and promotional aspects" of the competition.

The proposal was also discussed at a meeting of the Japan Football Association's board of directors on Thursday, with members appearing eager to approve another opportunity for the Samurai Blue to face their recent rivals.

"We have to think of how it would affect the marketing and administration of the tournament," JFA vice president Kozo Tashima told reporters, "But [Australia's presence] would certainly raise the level of competition, so we want to include them as soon as possible."

The final decision will be made this year by the EAFF. China won the previous edition of the tournament, which was held in Tokyo in 2010.

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