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The Japan Football Association officially approved the appointment of Zico as Japan’s new national team coach, JFA president Saburo Kawabuchi said Saturday.

Kawabuchi said the national governing body for soccer will sign the contract with the former Brazil international on Monday in Tokyo. Zico is expected to guide Japan as it attempts to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. But his contract, which will initially be for 11 months starting Aug. 1, is expected to be renewed on a year-by-year basis.

Zico’s coaching staff has yet to be announced after the JFA failed to reach agreements with Brazilian candidates for a goalkeeping coach and a physical trainer. But Masakuni Yamamoto, who served as an assistant coach for Japan World Cup team coach Philippe Troussier, is expected to join Zico as the senior team assistant coach and Japan’s Olympic team coach.

Kawabuchi, who served as a JFA vice president for the past four years, was elected at a JFA council meeting to succeed retiring Shinichiro Okano on Saturday. The period of his service will be for two years.

Former Kashima Antlers president Masaru Suzuki, who is to be named new J. League chairman on Tuesday at a J. League board meeting, was also appointed vice president. Sonkyo Nomura was promoted from JFA managing director and will join incumbent vice president Junji Ogura and Suzuki as the third vice president. Kunishige Kamamoto was demoted from vice president to managing director.

The appointment of Takeo Hirata as new executive managing director was also approved. Hirata, 42, previously worked for the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy.

Kawabuchi disclosed the three areas he hopes to work on; increasing the number of registered amateur players from the current 800,000 to 2 million in three years time, introducing a league-format competition to younger generations in an attempt to broaden the foundation of would-be national team players for the future, and encouraging the 47 prefectural F.A.s to be more independent.

“This time we made the last 16 at the World Cup. I’d like to see our team reach the same or an even higher position in four years time and also would like to see our team in the top group in world soccer for the next 10-20 years,” Kawabuchi said.

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