Ogura: No new Japan coach this week

TOKYO - Japan will not appoint a new head coach to replace Takeshi Okada until next week at the earliest, Japanese Football Association (JFA) head Junji Ogura has said.

Okada stepped down after taking Japan to the second round of the World Cup in South Africa in June and the JFA have a short-list of three coaches, all of them foreign, the Kyodo news agency reported.

"I want all of you to wait a little longer," Ogura told reporters. "We hope to reach a final decision next week."

Former Argentina coaches Marcelo Bielsa and Jose Pekerman, Dutch coach Marco van Basten and Spaniards Victor Fernandez and Ernesto Valverde have all been linked with the post, although Bielsa has now signed on for five more years with Chile.

The JFA had hoped to announce the new coach this week and the delay means they face a possible race against time to get the successful candidate a visa in time for a friendly against Paraguay in Yokohama on September 4.

"If we can sign a deal next week, it will allow enough time to issue a visa, I believe," Ogura said.

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