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Ficcadenti won’t return to FC Tokyo

Kyodo

FC Tokyo manager Massimo Ficcadenti will leave the club at the end of the season following two years in charge, the J. League first-division side announced Friday.

The Italian propelled the Gasmen to a second-place finish in the first stage this year, but finished the league campaign with a 0-0 home draw against Sagan Tosu on Sunday, surrendering third place in the season’s overall standings and a place in the postseason championship to Gamba Osaka on goal difference.

The 48-year-old Ficcadenti still has a chance of winning a trophy this season in the Emperor’s Cup. Tokyo plays Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the quarterfinals on Dec. 26.

Hiroshi Jofuku, who coached FC Tokyo from 2008 to 2010 and Ventforet Kofu from 2012 to 2014, is the leading candidate to succeed Ficcadenti.