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Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007

Japanese World Cup ref retires

Kyodo News

Toru Kamikawa, who became the first Japanese referee to take charge of a World Cup match beyond the first round at last summer's finals in Germany, has decided to retire, it was learned Friday.

Kamikawa, 43, ended his international career last October two years before reaching the mandatory retirement age set by soccer's world governing body.

He continued to officiate in the J. League and last season was named Referee of the Year for the second time. The mandatory retirement age for referees in the J. League is 50, but Kamikawa has decided to call time on his career early because of a knee injury.

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