Soccer

JFA chief Kozo Tashima says Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t been contacted about coaching post

Kyodo

Japan Football Association president Kozo Tashima on Tuesday denied reports claiming that the governing body has contacted former Germany and U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann regarding its men’s national team coaching job.

Klinsmann has been named among the list of potential successors to Japan coach Akira Nishino when his contract ends in July. The JFA said earlier this month it would not ask Nishino to stay on following Japan’s exit from the World Cup with a round-of-16 loss to Belgium.

“(The possibility) is 99 percent nonexistent. While he is an excellent person, he’s not (a candidate) for me. It’s a big surprise to hear that,” Tashima told reporters at Narita airport before traveling to Russia to watch World Cup games.

According to Tashima, a successor is being considered among a large pool of both foreign and Japanese coaches, and the JFA is looking to decide Nishino’s replacement by the end of the month.

The 63-year-old Nishino, who took the reins following the shock dismissal of predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic in April, led the Samurai Blue to their first knockout stage since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.