JFA boss to seek advice from Zico


TOKYO: Japan’s football chief will ask former national coach Zico for advice ahead of this year’s World Cup and plans an ambassadorial role for the Brazilian in the Asian nation’s bid to host the tournament.Japan Football Association (JFA) president Motoaki Inukai’s visit to South America to promote a bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 tournament will include talks with Zico.

“We have asked him to be an ambassador (for Japan’s bid) although we will also be talking about the Japan team,” Inukai told yesterday’s Sankei Sports newspaper.

“Also we will be talking about the 2006 World Cup in Germany,” added Inukai, previously one of the most outspoken critics of Japan’s meek first round exit under Zico.

Inukai was also non-committal on the future of current Japan coach Takeshi Okada, who set an ambitious target of reaching this year’s World Cup semi-finals in South Africa.

“There are lots of scenarios but nothing is clear yet,” Inukia said before leaving Japan on Tuesday.

“If he achieves his target it’s possible (Okada will stay on).”

Japan face an uphill task simply to advance past the group stage in South Africa, having been drawn with the Netherlands, Cameroon and Denmark. — Reuters