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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Emperor's Cup 1/4 Final Venues Confirmed

S-Pa v FC Tokyo: Yurtec Stadium, Sendai, December 20th, 1pm

The Emperor's Cup in all it's wonderful randomness today had the venues of the quarter finals confirmed. Unlike the English FA Cup, games from the 5th round in are played at neutral venues. Well, not all of them, just some. S-Pulse were one of the unlucky ones last round and got to play a team who were placed at their home ground. Some of the other games were at neutral venues, but not all. I not even going to begin to pretend I understand why this is, but there you have it.

Well, for the 1/4 finals it's all fair and square with all four games staged at venues nuetral to all teams. Or so I was expecting! As it turns out one of the games is a home game. The team in question are Sagan Tosu, and the full quarter final draw looks a little something like this:

Yokohama F. Marinos v Sagan Tosu:
Best Amenity Stadium (home of Sagan Tosu)
S-Pa v FC Tokyo: Yurtec Stadium, Sendai (home of Vegalta Sendai)
Kashiwa Reysol v Sanfrecce Hiroshima: Momotaro Stadium (home of Fagiano Okayama)
Nagoya v Osaka or Jubilo Iwata: Kobe Universiade (occasional home of Vissel Kobe)

Well, S-Pulse and FC Tokyo's clash has had Sendai's impressive-looking, football-only Yurtec Stadium chosen to host it. A bit of a trek for all concerned, I'm sure you'll agree. That's the "magic" of the cup though, and for all we know a semi final could be at Ecopa, where we'd have played last year had we beat Gamba in the 1/4 final, so no complaints!

If anyone does know the rationale behind Sagan Tosu getting to play at home while all others play away (travelling hundreds of miles and spending thousand of yen in the process), then do please share it! It took nearly a week after the completion of the 5th round to announce these venues, so there are clearly anything but random, decided by the mythical "fixture computer".

Anyway, politics aside, here's out chance to make another cup final! Our league season is over, so let's have it! Win this one and we're 90 minutes from another BDO to Tokyo! Game on!


Mike Tuckerman said...

The weird world of Japanese football.