Sports / Soccer

Japan national team coach Zaccheroni steps down

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-26 17:09

Japan national team coach Zaccheroni steps down
Japan's national soccer team coach Alberto Zaccheroni attends a news conference after a training session a day before their World Cup soccer match against Colombia at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba June 23, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - Alberto Zaccheroni quit as Japanese national team coach after the country's poor World Cup showing, local media reported Thursday.

The 61-year-old Italian announced the decision one day after Japan was eliminated from the competition, saying he wanted to take full responsibility for Japan's failure.

"I really wanted to take us forward and qualify for the second round and I am so disappointed. But I picked the team, decided on the tactics and how we play and I want to take full responsibility. I have to leave the Japan team," Zaccheroni told reporters Wednesday in Brazil.

Appointed as Japanese national team coach in 2010 on a four- year contract, Zaccheroni's term of office was due to expire after the tournament but his resignation leaves Japan with no choice but to find a new coach quickly before their Asian Cup defense in January.

Under Zaccheroni, Japan won the Asian Cup champion in 2011, but the team placed last in Group C in the World Cup group stage in Brazil this time, with one point from a 0-0 draw with 10-man Greece. It lost 2-1 to the Ivory Coast in their opening game and was routed 4-1 in its last game against Colombia on Tuesday.

Japan Football Association Technical Director Hiromi Hara said discussions would take place at a board meeting regarding a successor to Zaccheroni after returning to Japan.

Most Popular
What's Hot