TOKYO - Japan's football supremos have refused to
offer Mexico's Javier Aguirre a four-year contract to coach the
national team, telling him he must prove himself, local media reported
Italian Alberto Zaccheroni stepped down as coach after
the Asian champions flopped at the World Cup, but the Japan Football
Association (JFA) will not be forced into a knee-jerk reaction,
according to technical director Hiromi Hara.
"He won't be given
four years straight away," Hara told the Sankei Sports newspaper. "It's
his first time in Japan and we have to see if he's a good fit or not."
55-year-old Aguirre, who led Mexico to the last 16 of the World Cup in
2002 and 2010, will pocket an estimated $2.45 million a year - more
than twice what Zaccheroni was on - to drag Japan out of the doldrums.
JFA have reportedly agreed on terms with Aguirre, set to become Japan's
highest-paid coach ever, with performance-based incentives to extend
his deal to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
However, Hara insisted that he had other names on his wish-list if talks with Aguirre broke down.
can't say how many (names) but we will negotiate with them in order of
priority," he added. "If we just have one target we could end up getting
Japan exited the World Cup with a whimper after losing
2-1 to Ivory Coast, drawing 0-0 with a 10-man Greece and getting thumped
4-1 by Colombia.
Zaccheroni was criticised for his team selection
and tactics, while key players Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa were
also panned for failing to spark the Blue Samurai.
performances were symptomatic of Asia's woes in Brazil, where all four
representatives crashed out in the first round. South Korean players
were pelted with sweets by angry fans on their return home.
failure of 2002 semi-finalists South Korea, Japan, Australia and Iran
could potentially have an impact on Asia's current allotment of 4.5
World Cup berths with FIFA likely to come under pressure from other