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Japan sack manager Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before the World Cup

Japan sack manager Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before the World Cup

Japan Football Association (JFA) on Monday chose to dismiss the head coach of Japan's national team, just two months out from the 2018 World Cup, local media reported.

Nishino was at the helm for one of Japanese football's greatest triumphs: a 1-0 group stage win at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics over a Brazil side containing Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.

The decision was announced by the Japan Football Association on Monday, with the news personally delivered to Halilhodzic on Saturday by president Kozo Tashima.

A former global midfielder who won 12 caps for his country, Nishino is best known for his stint at the helm of Gamba Osaka and he took the club to their first Asian Club Championship in 2008.

He had 12 caps for his country and was in charge of Gamba Osaka team's that won their first Asian Club Championship in 2008.

Japan will play Colombia in its opening group stage match in June.

The writing was on the wall for Halilhodzic after a series of disappointing results, including a loss to Ukraine and a snatched draw with Mali from the last kick of the game.

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The straight-talking Halilhodzic has made few concessions in Japan's famously polite society, and his style reportedly stirred tensions between the coach and the dressing room.

But he said the coach has been struggling to get through to the players.

"I can't believe they are doing this just before the World Cup", said Yukina Muranaka, 29, a Tokyoite who is planning to travel to watch Japan play in Russian Federation, calling the decision "poorly planned". And the JFA had been hoping Halilhodzic could create a similar breakthrough for Japan.

It was a quote which came to haunt the Franco-Bosnian, who has been dismissed just two months ahead of the World Cup.

"We'll do everything we can to produce good results (at the World Cup)".

The Japanese qualified for the finals for the first time in 1998 and have been present at the World Cup ever since.

Nishino becomes the second Japanese to serve as head coach of the Japanese national team.


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