[JAPAN] The problems the Japan Football Association has had finding a national team coach are similar to the difficulties U.S. Soccer might have if Bob Bradley doesn't return ...
The situation in Japan is similar to that in the United States. It should be an ideal situation for a national team coach: organized national team program, solid support from the federation, growing sport and excellent chances of qualification for the World Cup. On top of that, the JFA is believed to offering a salary of $2.3 million a year.
Japan, North Korea and the United States are the only World Cup finalists that have not confirmed plans for their national team coaching position.
JFA president Junji Ogura is frustrated by his inability to find a foreign successor for Takeshi Okada.
"I have realized anew that Japan is in the Far East," Ogura said about the challenge of luring coaches. "It isn't easy."
JFA technical director Hiromi Hara failed to reach an agreement with the top candidate, Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, and Spaniard Ernesto Valverde decided to stay at Greek club Olympiakos.
Three other candidates, including former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre, were believed to be under consideration.
Hara said that Pellegrini, most recently the coach at Real Madrid, and his staff feared "they would disappear from the European market if they stay away from Europe for a long time."
Hara will serve as interim coach when Japan faces Paraguay on Sept. 4 and Guatemala three days later.