The Yomiuri ShimbunJapan Football Association President Kozo Tashima on Tuesday denied reports that former German national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann had surfaced as a likely candidate to succeed Japan manager Akira Nishino.
“It’s 99 percent unlikely,” Tashima told reporters at Narita Airport on the day. “The reports were a total surprise to me.”
Nishino’s retirement was announced after Japan’s round-of-16 exit at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. The 53-year-old Klinsmann, a former Germany forward, has also served as the manager of the United States’ national team.
Tashima stressed that he wants to choose a “person who would contribute to the development of Japan soccer.”
The JFA president did not rule out the possibility of appointing a non-Japanese as manager, saying, “It’s strange to say that the manager must be Japanese.”