Okada stands down as Japan coach

02 July 2010

Japan coach Takeshi Okada has confirmed he is stepping down from the position after the Samurai Blue's World Cup campaign was ended by Paraguay on Tuesday.

The Japan Football Association have begun their search for a new national team coach after learning of the 53-year-old's decision.

Okada, who before the tournament began had predicted that his side would reach the semi-finals in South Africa, said: "I've coached a lot of teams, but this World Cup team was definitely one of the best.

"I don't think I'll work with these players again. I just wish them all the best in their careers.''

The Japan Football Association's technical director Hiromi Hara hopes to have someone in place before the end of the month, adding: "As the most important point, we'll see how each candidate could strengthen our national team.

"We'd like to make a decision by taking account of not only experience but personality and passion for Japan. We don't want to rush anything. Things will start moving once the World Cup is over."

Meanwhile, former Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura has decided to retire from international football.