JFA await potential Aguirre indictment in match fixing scandal

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The Football Association (JFA) are considering their next move should national team coach be indicted in Spain on suspicion of match fixing in the coming days, Japanese media reported on Wednesday.

A Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor is considering the case, which revolves around a May 2011 La Liga fixture between Real Zaragoza, who Aguirre managed at the time, and Levante.

The 2-1 result kept Zaragoza in the Spanish top flight, but the Mexican coach may be summoned to court to answer to suspicions that he received as much as €90,000 from then-club president Agapito Iglesias to pass on to Levante’s players.

According to Sponichi, the JFA could potentially ask Aguirre his resignation in the event that legal proceedings prevent him from carrying out his duties as coach.

Aguirre, who flew to Europe after Japan’s 2-1 friendly win over Australia in mid-November in order to observe players, is expected to meet with JFA officials immediately after his return on Thursday, December 4.

“I can’t speak to hypotheticals,” managing director Hiromi Hara told reporters on Tuesday, “but if there’s legal action we have to understand the circumstances and deal with them properly.

“Nothing can be decided on suspicion alone; right now we have to believe [Aguirre] when he claims innocence.”

Aguirre’s resignation would be a tremendous blow to Japan’s defence of their Asian Cup title in January. The potential fallout could spread to top JFA officials, including Hara who was responsible for the 56-year-old’s hiring in August.