Nakamura Japan call-up to anger Celtic

September 25, 2008

TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Japan have risked reigniting a club-versus-country row with Scottish champions Celtic by calling up Shunsuke Nakamura for two internationals next month.

The 30-year-old is wanted by Japan coach Takeshi Okada for his side's friendly with the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 9 and a World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan on Oct. 15.

Japan's home game with Uzbekistan takes place just six days before Celtic travel to Manchester United for a Champions League Group E clash.

Nakamura, who has been linked with a return to his former J-League club Yokohama F-Marinos, has struggled in recent seasons with the demands of playing for his country.

Okada has also called up Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Junichi Inamoto and Wolfsburg's Makoto Hasebe for the Asian Group One clash in Saitama, as well as the UAE warm-up.

Japan beat Bahrain 3-2 in Manama in their opening match of the final round of regional qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.