Japan coach Akira Nishino set to leave after World Cup exit
Nishino took over in April following the sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic
Last Updated: 05/07/18 11:24am
Japan coach Akira Nishino will not be asked to continue in his role following the country's heart-breaking exit from the World Cup.
Nacer Chadli's 94th-minute goal consigned Japan to a 3-2 defeat by Belgium in the last 16, and speaking on his return to Tokyo with the squad, Nishino said his departure had always been planned.
"My contract ends at the end of this month," Nishino told reporters at Tokyo's Narita airport.
"And I have been working on the assumption that this job would last from the moment I was appointed to the end of the World Cup."
The Japanese Football Association said they will decide on Nishino's successor by the end of the month.
Nishino took over as the national team coach in April following the surprise sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic, who had secured Japan's qualification to the World Cup.
Despite having limited time to work with the squad, Nishino lead Japan out of Group H, ahead of Poland and Senegal, before running Belgium very close.
Japan had led the Belgians 2-0 before the European side came back to win.
Japan's captain Makoto Hasebe, who announced his retirement from the national team, said the team could reflect on the World Cup with pride.
"People had low expectations of us, and we talked about turning the situation around.
"I think everyone became interested in soccer again, so in that way, I think we did a good job."