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World and European champions Spain have turned down an invitation to play in this year’s Copa America due to their busy timetable, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said today.

The offer came earlier this month when Japan withdrew from July’s tournament in Argentina after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the Asian country’s northeastern coast.

“The RFEF’s board appreciated the invitation made by the president of the South American football confederation (CONMEBOL), Nicolas Leoz, to participate in the Copa America, but have declined for calendar problems,” the RFEF said in a statement.

“This isn’t the first time Spain have received an invitation to play in the Copa America but the dates and the tight competition calendar have always made it impossible to participate.

“The board do not rule out the possibility of accepting a future invitation.”

Japan were drawn in Copa America Group A with the hosts, Bolivia and Colombia. The tournament runs from July 1-24.

Source: Independent

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