JFA settles on three finalists

Kyodo News

Japan Football Association President Junji Ogura said Monday the country has narrowed to three its choices for national team coach Takeshi Okada’s successor but declined to give their names.

All of the three non-Japanese candidates are interested in coaching the three-time Asian champions, and Ogura said, “One candidate has been approached by many countries while I didn’t know about one of them myself.”

Ogura made the comments after hearing from JFA technical committee director Hiromi Hara, who returned to Japan on Saturday from a trip to find candidates for national coach.

Hara will make another trip soon to discuss deal terms with the three candidates.

The JFA intends to choose the new coach by mid-August before Japan’s first match after the World Cup on Sept. 4.