Japan’s national soccer coach Halilhodzic sacked

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Japan Football Association has decided to dismiss men’s national soccer coach Vahid Halilhodzic, JFA President President Kozo Tashima said Monday.

Halilhodzic’s successor was to be announced at 4 p.m. Monday, Tashima said.

The national team is headed to the World Cup in Russia this year. In the six consecutive tournaments in which Japan has participated, including the upcoming one, this is the first time Japan has fired its national coach in a World Cup year.

The president visited Halilhodzic, 65, where he is staying in Europe and informed him of the decision on Saturday.

Tashima is dissatisfied with the results of recent warm-up matches and believes the coach has failed to properly unify the team, a source involved with JFA said. Halilhodzic became Japan’s national coach in March 2015.

After losing their first qualifying match, the national team rallied to reach the top of Group B, guaranteeing their appearance in Russia. The team has a total of 21 wins, nine draws and eight losses. Speech

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