Japan Football Association president Kuniya Daini will take a voluntary 50 percent pay cut for four months as a show of responsibility for the short-lived reign of scandal-tainted manager Javier Aguirre.

JFA secretary-general Hiromi Hara and technical director Masahiro Shimoda will both take 30 percent pay cuts for the same period, although Shimoda’s offer to resign was rejected by the president.

Aguirre was fired six months into the job last Tuesday after a match-fixing case naming the Mexican as a defendant was accepted by a Spanish court. Daini cited the need to avoid the risk of the case having a negative effect on the national team, which begins its 2018 World Cup qualification campaign in June, as the reason for Aguirre’s dismissal.

The scandal has generated reams of damaging headlines for the JFA since Spanish prosecutors filed the case on Dec. 15, with Daini, Hara and Shimoda coming under heavy fire in the media for their handling of the affair.

A meeting of the JFA executive on Thursday exonerated all three men for their role in Aguirre’s July appointment, but Daini said he and his colleagues felt the need to show contrition for the storm that followed.

“There was no problem with the technical committee’s hiring of Aguirre,” said Daini. “But we have to reflect on the trouble that it caused the national team, the fans and sponsors. I feel responsible for that.

“We also have to reflect on the fact that we didn’t carry out a thorough enough check before we made the appointment, and the fact that we were not aware of the situation.”

Shimoda is currently in Europe sounding out potential candidates to succeed Aguirre, having convened with the technical committee to start the search shortly after the Mexican’s dismissal.

“Shimoda told me that he wanted to resign to take responsibility, but I told him the priority was for the technical committee to find a new manager, and that he should continue doing that,” said Daini.

“There were a lot of opinions at the executive meeting, but the main one was that the decision to end Aguirre’s contract was the correct one. The board of executives decided that myself as president, Hara and Shimoda did not bear responsibility. But we feel responsible so we are taking a voluntary pay cut.”

Various media have speculated on a large number of potential candidates to succeed Aguirre, with Dane Michael Laudrup, Italian Luciano Spalletti and German Felix Magath just the latest names to be linked with the job.

Hara denied that Shimoda is currently in negotiations with any candidate, and stressed that the technical director cannot make an appointment alone.

“Shimoda will look at the requirements in terms of track record and experience and gather information on candidates, and once he is ready to start negotiations we will hear from him,” said Hara. “That’s all I can say for the moment.

“It’s not just one person. There are general managers from J. League clubs and others on the technical committee. Shimoda is the person who is starting things off, but he won’t decide by himself. He’ll gather information and bring it back.”

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