Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu says he remains in the dark over whether he can call up overseas players for two World Cup qualifiers that take place near the start of next year.
The decision could have big consequences for Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi as the games against China and Saudi Arabia will be played just days before the rescheduled derby versus Rangers on February 2nd.
If Furuhashi is called up, he would miss the match, but Moriyasu says he still hasn’t received advice from the Japanese government about what to do:
“I am very worried about the situation for the qualifiers. I have no choice but to follow the government directives for the games so I have to wait until nearer the ties to decide on the squad. We obviously want to select our strongest team and I hope to find a solution to the matter. The sooner the situation is concluded, the better it is for me to prepare.”
Hoops supporters will, of course, be hoping that Furuhashi is barred from being included in his national squad so he can start the Rangers clash.
The rescheduling of the derby has had other knock-on effects, with the Gers possibly having up to three players missing for the game due to their participation in the African Cup of Nations.