Soccer / World Cup

JFA technical director Hara in charge of hiring Zaccheroni's successor


Harumi Hara, the Japan Football Association’s technical director, will be responsible for selecting Japan’s next coach, the JFA technical committee confirmed Tuesday.

Meeting in an extraordinary session, the technical committee summarized Japan’s failed efforts at the World Cup, but left the decision on the new coach in Hara’s hands. Multiple sources on Monday reported that the JFA had narrowed its candidates down to one man, 55-year-old Mexican Javier Aguirre, who coached Mexico to the second round at both the 2002 and 2010 World Cups and has been coaching in Spain’s La Liga.

At a press conference, Hara touched on Japan’s failings at the World Cup in Brazil under Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, saying, “When things aren’t going our way, we need to be able to compete in an appropriate fashion and be resolute.”

Although Hara declined to mention a candidate by name, he did spell out the qualifications he is looking for.

“I want someone whose ample experience at top-level competitions such as the World Cup will enable Japan to reach the highest levels,” Hara said.

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