Japanese FA to open European office to assist players

The Japanese Football Association is opening an office in Europe to support its players in the continent.

Nikkei reported that Dusseldorf in Germany is to be the location of the office, which will open in March or April.

The report said the plan was proposed by the association’s technical committee, and the office would negotiate with European clubs to help manage the players’ physical and mental conditions.

One of the goals of the office is to help the national team prepare for this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics football tournament. About 50 players eligible for the Japanese team at the tournament are currently active in European leagues. Among them include former Leicester City player Shinji Okazaki (now in Segunda División side Huesca), Olympique de Marseille’s Hiroki Sakai, and Real Zaragoza’s Shinji Kagawa.