The coach of the Japanese national women’s soccer team, Norio Sasaki, made it clear that after the London Olympics finished in August, he was retiring. After guiding Nadeshiko Japan to first place in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, and then bringing home the Olympic silver medal from this year’s Games, it seemed the best time to bring his historic career to a close: at the top. But now it seems Sasaki might be staying on as the soccer team’s coach after all.
While Sasaki‘s contract is already scheduled to end this month, the Japan Football Association (JFA)’s Eiji Ueda, who serves as the chief of women’s soccer, stated on Wednesday that the 54 year old is the only candidate they are negotiating with. The pair met earlier in the day at the JFA headquarters in Tokyo, and he replied with a firm “no” when asked if other prospective coaches were being looked at.
Sasaki’s staying on as Nadeshiko‘s coach certainly isn’t a done deal at this point, and Ueda did state that they were planning to meet again next week, he added that there is no need to have a decision made during the month of September. That right there seems to hint that Sasaki hasn’t made up his mind whether to leave or not, and the JFA is wanting to give him as much time to think as they can, with the hopes that he’ll stay on board. As the soccer coach who lead the team to an incredible victory over the U.S. in the World Cup final, possibly one of Japan’s greatest sporting achievements, it certainly makes sense why the JFA would want to keep Sasaki around.
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