Okada set for Japanese national team

December 4, 2007

TOKYO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Takeshi Okada will be named Japanese national team coach after accepting an offer to return to the post, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old will be appointed on Friday. He replaces Bosnian Ivica Osim, who is recovering from a stroke.

Senior members of the JFA met on Monday and unanimously approved Okada's appointment. The executive board will meet on Friday to formally endorse the decision, a JFA spokeswoman said.

'It was decided that (Okada) should be the coach,' the spokeswoman said of Monday's meeting.

Okada first took charge of Japan in 1997, salvaging the side's qualifying campaign for the World Cup finals in France the following year after Shu Kamo was fired.

But Japan's first World Cup finals appearance ended in three consecutive defeats and Okada was replaced by Frenchman Philippe Troussier.

Since then Okada has managed J-League clubs Consadole Sapporo and Yokohama F-Marinos.

Osim, who took the helm of Japan after the team's 2006 World Cup flop under Brazilian Zico, has begun to regain consciousness but the 66-year-old remains in intensive care.