Asian Cup, AFCON scheduling ‘not good’ for players, says Arsenal’s Tomiyasu


The Asian Cup should be shifted to June and played in the same slot as UEFA’s Euros, Arsenal and Japan defender Takehiro Tomiyasu said ahead of the Jan. 12-Feb. 10 continental championship in Qatar.

The last three editions of the tournament have been played in January and February, opening up hosting opportunities for countries from the Middle East where summers often exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122°F), temperatures considered dangerous for football.

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Arsenal could be without Tomiyasu for six games, including four Premier League matches, if Japan goes all the way to the final in Qatar.

“I want the Asian Cup to be played in June, the same as the Euros,” Tomiyasu told the Evening Standard newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.

“I don’t know why we are playing in January – not only the Asian Cup but the African Cup of Nations as well. It’s not good for the players. But it is what it is and I will really try to come back with the title.”

Japan, bidding for a record-extending fifth Asian Cup crown, kicks off its campaign on Jan. 14 against Vietnam, before taking on Iraq and Indonesia in Group D.

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