Veteran soccer player Kazuyoshi Miura will participate in Japan's futsal league next month, returning to a sport he has played for fun in the past.
The former Japan international and current Yokohama FC forward will be playing in the F.League, Japan's five-a-side indoor soccer league, in a Jan. 15 match between Espolada Hokkaido and Fuchu Athletic FC, Espolada officials announced Dec. 16.
This will mark the first time a former or active Japan national squad member will have participated in the F.League.
"I've been interested in playing since the F.League was established (in the 2007-08 season)," Miura, 44, said at a news conference in Tokyo. "I hope to learn the (new) rules of the sport and get myself in good condition."
During the Jan. 15 futsal match, Miura will be wearing the same jersey number he dons in soccer--No. 11.
The F.League has suffered a decline in attendance since it peaked during its second season of existence. In an attempt to boost name recognition, the league had been wooing Miura, who had played futsal when he was training for soccer in Brazil earlier in his career.
It was decided that Miura would play for Espolada because the team's operator in Hokkaido is a shareholder of J2 side Yokohama FC, Miura's current club.
His participation comes in the wake of a new rule that the F.League approved starting with the 2009-10 season, which allows teams to add up to two J.League members.
For now, Miura is scheduled to play just the one match on Jan. 15. Still, he isn't ruling out more games in the future.
"I'd like to continue if my health and my schedule allows for it," he said.
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