• Kyodo

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The Japan Football Association is poised to ask women’s Under-20 head coach Asako Takakura to take over the women’s national team, Nadeshiko Japan, following a decision by the JFA Women’s Committee on Monday.

The decision will be reported to JFA President Kozo Tashima on Tuesday, and a formal offer will be tendered. Multiple JFA sources have said there are no obstacles in the way of her appointment and an official decision is expected in the coming days.

When Nadeshiko Japan, the London Olympics silver medalists, failed to qualify for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Games, Women’s World Cup-winning manager Norio Sasaki stepped down. Since then, Takakura has been considered the leading candidate to take over.

The 48-year-old Takakura played in 79 games for the women’s top national team, scoring 30 goals. As a coach in 2014, she steered Japan to its first championship in the Under-17 Women’s World Cup. If she takes the job, Takakura will be the first full Japan international to manage the women’s side.

The team is slated to play a pair of friendlies against the United States on June 2 and 5.

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