Green light for Japan-Brazil friendly in Poland

A friendly between Japan and Brazil in Poland is to go ahead in October, the Polish football association has decided, after initial objections due to a clash with the Poles' World Cup qualifier against England.

"We are pleased to announce that the football association is taking action to ensure we can hold the Japan-Brazil match as planned," said Pawel Czuma, city hall spokesman in the southwestern city of Wroclaw.

He underlined that the goal of holding the October 16 match was to tap the full potential of Wroclaw's Municipal Stadium, opened last year and one of Poland's four venues for the looming European championships.

Wroclaw's high-profile mayor, Rafal Dutkiewicz, had two weeks ago announced plans for the friendly.

But he was shot down within days by Grzegorz Lato, a former Poland international who now heads the football association.

Lato argued that it would be wrong to hold the Japan-Brazil game on the same day that Poland met England in the capital Warsaw.

The football association has the final say in the organisation of friendlies on its turf, but it was not immediately clear why it had changed tack.

The England game will be Poland's third fixture in their drive to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, and a history of crunch encounters always gives the two nations' meetings an extra edge.


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