Nadeshiko Japan

The Japanese Football Federation have announced the Nadeshiko squad that will compete at the AFC Asian Women’s Games 2014

Norio Sasaki’s squad includes debutants from current Nadeshiko League leaders Urawa Reds; Shiho Kohata, Ruka Norimatsu, Hikaru Naomoto and Chinatsu Kira.

It is reported that six players playing overseas are unable to take part, these are presumed to be Kinga, Kumagai, Ando, Ohno, Iwabuchi and Asuna Tanaka.

Nahomi Kawasumi will join the squad on 6 May, Nanase Kiryu will join the group from Sky Blue / USA on 9 May, whilst Yuki Ogimi is believed to only be available for the group games.

Japan are in Group A alongside Vietnam, Australia and Jordan. Nadeshiko’s opening match is against the Australia Westfield Matildas, view the full AFC Asian Women’s Cup 2014 fixtures.

The AFC Asian Women’s Cup serves as qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.

Japan Nadeshiko squad for AFC Asian Women’s Cup 2014


Miho Fukumoto (Okayama Yunogo Belle)
Ayumi Kaihori (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Erina Yamane (JEF United Ichihara Chiba)


Megumi Kamionobe (Albirex Niigata)
Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza)
Saori Ariyoshi (NTV Beleza)
Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier HSC / France)
Kana Osafune (Vegalta Sendai)
Shiho Kouhata (Urawa Reds)
Ruka Norimatsu (Urawa Reds)


Homare Sawa (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle)
Nahomi Kawasumi (Seattle Reign FC / USA)
Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza)
Yuri Kawamura (Vegalta Sendai)
Nanase Kiryu (Sky Blue FC / USA)
Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa Reds)


Karina Maruyama (Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki)
Yuki Ogimi (Chelsea Ladies FC / England)
Yuika Sugasawa (JEF United Ichihara Chiba)
Megumi Takase (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Chinatsu Kira (Urawa Reds)

Head coach:

Norio Sasaki

Additional information (via Ken Suzuki):

The team will play a friendly match against the New Zealand national team on May 8 in Osaka, then fly to Vietnam. The AFC tournament will start on May 14 and Japan will play Australia in its opening match.

The announced squad includes 4 players selected for the first time to international A team. Norimatsu, Kohata, Naomoto, Kira. All from Urawa Reds Ladies.

JFA also announced since FIFA does not recognize the AFC as international “A” matches the clubs are not obliged to supply their players. The teams of Nadeshiko League all supply their players. (In fact, the league is suspended from May 5 to 30.) Among the European and American clubs, Montpellier (Utsugi), Sky Blue (Kiryu), Seattle (Kawasumi) and Chelsea (Ogimi) agreed to supply while Frankfurt (Ando, Tanaka), Arsenal (Ohno, Kinga) and Lyon (Kumagai) did not.

(Thank you Dernhelm)

What are your views? Leave your comments

  1. Mia Mon 9 years ago

    interesting development:

    “Since this Asian Cup is not listed on the FIFA Women’s International Match Calendar, the JFA has petitioned the FIFA and AFC to consider it as official matches so that the team can invite players in the leagues outside of Japan. Although the rating hasn’t been changed, four such players are now on the roster thanks to the goodwill by the clubs they play for.”

  2. Hiroshi Tabata 9 years ago

    So FIFA tells players to be released for Women’s Euro, but not for Asian Cup… two tier FIFA standards anyone?! It doesn’t matter whether or not Japan is likely to qualify without these players. It’s a matter of principle and fairness. And after all this is a tournament that decides the champions of the continent like Euro. All criticisms should go to AFC or FIFA, not to these clubs obviously.

    Match calender

    This would never happen to men’s game. Can you imagine that you can’t call up players for the world cup qualifiers or Euro, Asian Cup, or African Nations Cup whatever? They (European clubs) have to release players for African Nations Cup in the middle of the season, don’t they?

    • Author
      WSU 9 years ago

      Agree with you, I was surprised when read that this was the case.
      You can not take any tournament for granted, all nations are improving and this competition is crucial to qualify for the World Cup.

      • Ken Suzuki 9 years ago

        Oh-uh, I believe I owe you a further explanation just in case I did not make myself clear. In a fair argument I would say the blame rests more on Asian Football Confederation than on FIFA.

        The regular order of things is: (1) FIFA sets certain dates of a year on which international “A” match can take place, then (2) regional entities (AFC, UEFA and others) select from these dates to have their matches.

        The story reported by the Japanese media is that FIFA set their dates in belief Asia would use them to have its tournament. But AFC, having some internal complication unique to it (I guess, mainly due to having members on both northern and southern hemispheres) failed to agree on any of the dates, and ended up having this important tournament in “out of regulation” dates.


        • Author
          WSU 9 years ago

          Oh ok, I understand now. So it was more the choice of AFC rather than FIFA not giving them the opportunity and/or treating the tournament the same as all other World Cup qualifying competitions. Thanks Ken 🙂

  3. Ken Suzuki 9 years ago

    As for Ogimi, the JFA website says she is available for the duration of May 13 to 19, which means she will miss the AFC semi-final on May 22 and final (or 3rd place match if Japan lost at semi) on May 25. On the other hand, Chelsea plays Birmingham City on May 18, Notts County on May 25, and at the FA cup final on June 1. Since the FA cup is a week after the AFC final, I reckon Ogimi will leave Vietnam to participate the Notts County game.

  4. Ken Suzuki 9 years ago

    In all honesty, my disappointment is not that some players are not available. It is that only FOUR are picked from Urawa Reds Ladies(!!!), a team much more resourceful than a petty appreciation like this. In fact, I am wondering… Let Norio Sasaki select whatever nadeshikos he deems best from any club, domestic or otherwise, but Urawa, then let the team play the Reds. How such game would result I am very curious. 😀

  5. Mia Mon 9 years ago

    interesting additional details! i didn’t realize there is a technicality with regards to the AFC that enabled some clubs not to release their players. you should update the article with some of the key info Ken provided 🙂

  6. Author
    WSU 9 years ago

    Ken has explained a bit further about the missing players in the comment wall here:

    The Nadeshiko League is suspended from May 5 to 30 so that they can release or players requested, this is not the case for the overseas players.

    I wonder if this has messed up Norio Sasaki’s vision/tactics. If the friendlies and tournaments like the Algarve Cup were used for him to select the squad that would compete at the big tournaments, he may not have anticipated the unavailability of certain players.

  7. Mia Mon 9 years ago

    yes! stoked for Hikaru Naomoto’s first senior team cap tho, it’s been a long time coming 🙂

  8. Author
    WSU 9 years ago

    Lol @Dernhelm
    I am sure Ken will be pleased with the inclusion of Urawa Reds players.
    Agree with you about the disappointment of many of the regulars being club tied, it is an important competition.

  9. Mia Mon 9 years ago

    Norio Sasaki lifts the Urawa Reds ban! hahaha just kidding 🙂
    sad Ami Otaki couldn’t be one of them 🙁
    happy Sawa is back too, but a little disappointed so many of the regulars can’t leave their club duties overseas…

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