Nishino Replaces Halilhodzic as Japan's Soccer Coach

Sports

Tokyo, April 9 (Jiji Press)--Akira Nishino, technical director of the Japan Football Association, will replace Vahid Halilhodzic as coach of the Japanese national team, the JFA said Monday.

Halilhodzic, 65, was fired just two months before the World Cup soccer finals in Russia following the team's recent disappointing performances.

"The decision was made to raise the possibility of Japan reaching the last 16 at the World Cup finals, even if it's just by one pct to 2 pct," JFA President Kozo Tashima told a press conference in Tokyo.

The abrupt change of coach came after Japan's draw with Mali and loss to Ukraine in friendly matches in Belgium last month.

Tashima said that during and after these games, communications and trust between the coach and players declined.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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