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Aguirre to remain Japan coach despite match-fixing charges

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By Euronews
Aguirre to remain Japan coach despite match-fixing charges

The Japanese Football Association (JFA) on Thursday confirmed national coach Javier Aguirre will remain in his role despite facing charges of match-fixing.

Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutors have named Aguirre among 41 people charged for fixing a game between Real Zaragoza and Levante in May 2011.

Aguirre was Zaragoza’s coach at the time.

JFA’s executive director Hiromi Hara said: “We will closely monitor the progress of the case as a matter of course, but head coach Aguirre will lead the team in the Asia Cup.

‘‘I believe the most important thing for us now is to alleviate worried players and staff before the cup games. Aguirre himself has expressed that he will focus on preparing for the Asia Cup and he felt sorry about all the troubles.”

Anti-corruption prosecutors allege that Zaragoza paid Levante’s players through the bank accounts of their own squad players – including now Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera – as payment for throwing the match that kept Aguirre’s side in the topflight.

Mexican Aguirre, who strongly denies the charges, will coach Japan during the Asia Cup that begins on January 9.