Japan coach Javier Aguirre on Thursday rejected several questions regarding the status of a looming match-fixing investigation, repeatedly saying that he would “only talk about football.”
A judge in Valencia, Spain on Wednesday accepted the case, which revolves around whether or not $1.2 million passed hands from relegation-threatened Real Zaragoza, whom Aguirre managed at the time, to Levante before a 2011 Liga match which saw Zaragoza avoid the drop with a 2-1 win.
42 players, coaches, and Real Zaragoza as a legal entity have been listed by Spanish prosecutors, who are expected to interview all involved in the coming months before determining whether or not the case will go to trial.
Aguirre, speaking in Brisbane before his Samurai Blue side face Iraq in the second round of the 2015 Asian Cup’s group stage, refused to discuss the issue entirely as he looks to bring the East Asian giants their fifth continental title.
In Tokyo, Japan Football Association (JFA) president Kuniya Daini and other officials announced that an official response would wait until after the Asian Cup.
“We have not been able to confirm whether the reports [of the prosecution’s case being accepted] are official or not,” Daini said at a hastily-arranged press conference at JFA House. “Our priority should be on allowing [Japan] to concentrate solely on defending the Asian Cup, so we’re closing the matter for now.
“We will explain our response once the Asian Cup has finished.”
Some Japanese media have reported that Aguirre could be dismissed following the Australia-hosted tournament, which will conclude on January 31 in Sydney.