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Akira Nishino will lead Japan at this summer’s World Cup in Russia after the Japan Football Association confirmed Monday that it had fired manager Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before the tournament begins.

“There is always a risk when you change managers,” JFA President Kozo Tashima told reporters at a packed news conference in Tokyo, citing poor results and a lack of “communication and trust” with the players as the reasons for Halilhodzic’s dismissal.

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