Tokyo: Asako Takakura’s tenure as Japan women’s national team head coach will end at the end of August, the Japan Football Association (JFA) Women's Football Committee confirmed on Friday.
The 53-year-old’s impending exit follows Japan's quarter-final elimination at the Tokyo Olympics football tournament and ends her five-year spell at the reins of the Nadeshiko.
Takakura led Japan to the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in Jordan and guided a gold-medal winning side at the Asian Games in Indonesia later that year, but their golden run ended when they were eliminated in the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France the following summer.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on Japan
Kuala Lumpur: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the start of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar by a year, but the battle for one of the four guaranteed berths at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will ramp up in September when the continent’s 12 leading nations battle for a spot at the finals.
While AFC Asian Cup holders Qatar have already claimed a place as the FIFA World Cup hosts, the top two nations in each of the continent’s two qualifying groups will also advance to the Finals while the third-placed finishers will enter into a playoff to potentially claim a further spot for Asia.
Here we take a look at the prospects of Japan, the top seeds in Group B and habitual qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on Saudi Arabia
Kuala Lumpur: Well over two years since the start of the Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are down to 12 teams competing for four direct tickets to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
As the third round of the Asian Qualifiers gets underway in a few days’ time, the-AFC.com profiles each of the 12 teams in the two groups in terms of history and key players.
Giants of Asian football on all levels, Saudi Arabia returned to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 after an absence of 12 years and will be hoping to make it back-to-back appearances for the first time since qualifying for 2002 and 2006.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on United Arab Emirates
Kuala Lumpur: Well over two years since the start of the Asian Qualifiers, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are down to 12 teams competing for four direct tickets to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Ahead of the start of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar, the-AFC.com previews each of the teams in the two groups, their history and the players they will be counting on to put them on the grandest stage of all.
Three decades on from their only appearance at the FIFA World Cup, the United Arab Emirates have grown in stature to become perennial contenders in AFC competitions and the latter stages of the Qualifiers, but can 2022 finally be the year they make it all the way?
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on
Kuala Lumpur: The final lap on the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar is about to begin for 12 of Asia’s best national teams, with the action to kick off on September 2.
With four direct qualification spots up for grabs, and the continent’s top players and coaches going all out to turn their dreams into reality, join us as we preview the contenders.
Here we examine Australia, the now-habitual FIFA World Cup participants who overcame a range of difficulties to establish a perfect record in their qualifying campaign thus far, but who will need to stare down all new challenges in order to keep it.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on Korea Republic
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar are just around the corner and the continent's best are gearing up for a series of matches that are sure to put on display the talent and ability Asian football has to offer.
The-AFC.com dives deep into the 12 nations who will be taking part in the upcoming festival of football assessing and analysing the key men, highlighting the history, and giving a general insight into the teams battling out for a place at Qatar 2022.
Perennial powerhouse Korea Republic will not just be hoping for, but expecting qualification to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with a track record at the Asian Qualifiers that bears testament to that confidence.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on IR Iran
Kuala Lumpur: The main event is just days away from kicking off, as the continent’s top dozen sides gear up for the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
Over the coming days, the-AFC.com will break down each of the 12 nations still standing, their key men and what it all means in the context of history as they vie for a ticket to the greatest show on earth.
A true powerhouse of the Asian game, Islamic Republic of Iran are targeting a third successive FIFA World Cup appearance and their exceptional strike force makes them one of the favourites to qualify.