Japan’s football team head coach Hajime Moriyasu is set to continue to manage the Olympic side despite the postponement of the Games in Tokyo. The coronavirus pandemic forced the rescheduling of both the Tokyo Olympic and Asian qualification matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Moriyasu to continue to manage Japanese Olympic football squad for Tokyo Olympic
Moriyasu to continue to manage Japanese Olympic football squad for Tokyo Olympic

Due to the congestion of the footballing calendar over the next year, the Japan Football Association (JFA) was concerned that the current management would not be able to handle both tasks. It was determined that Moriyasu could remain in charge of the Olympic team, as World Cup qualification does not clash directly with next year’s Games.

There will be some overlap as the two squads prepare and play warm-up games, with Akinobu Yokouchi set to take over the Olympic team when this happens.

“We had a simple discussion about what is best for Japan,” said JFA Technical Committee chairman Yasuharu Sorimachi.

Moriyasu to continue to manage Japanese Olympic football squad for Tokyo Olympic
Moriyasu to continue to manage Japanese Olympic football squad for Tokyo Olympic

Hosting the Olympics is still not a certainty, but we made our decision at this point. Moriyasu, a former player, took charge of the under-23 team in 2017 and the senior team in 2018. 

The Olympic men’s football contest features teams of under-23 players and three over-age players. Due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic, the age limit of players has been temporarily raised to 24.  Japan has competed in men’s football at every Olympic Games since Atlanta 1996. Their best finish has been fourth place at London 2012, having lost 2-0 to South Korea in the bronze medal match.

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