• Kyodo

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The Japan Football Association’s executive board of directors on Thursday confirmed that Norio Sasaki will continue as head coach of former World Cup winner Nadeshiko Japan.

A source said that the charismatic 57-year-old is expected to be given a contract extension through the end of next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

JFA secretary general Hiromi Hara said, “The women’s committee has made its recommendation but at this point in time we can’t make an official announcement (about the contract).”

Sasaki, whose contract expired last month, was appointed manager in 2008 and won the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Nadeshiko also won silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

He was unable to steer Japan to a second straight World Cup title in Canada this past summer as the Asian champion lost 5-2 to the United States in a rematch of the 2011 final.

Japan will be looking to earn one of the two Asian berths for Rio at the Feb. 29-March 9 final qualifying competition in Osaka.

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