Report: Vahid Halilhodzic plans Japan departure after World Cup

Japan national team head coach Vahid Halilhodzic is already preparing to leave the team after next year’s FIFA World Cup, according to Sports Hochi.

Halilhodzic, according to Hochi, revealed to an unnamed Croatian newspaper that he will part ways with the Japan Football Association following the marquee tournament in Russia, in which Japan have been drawn with Poland, Colombia, and Senegal in Group H. He additionally admitted that he has already received new offers.

The 65-year-old steered the Samurai Blue to their sixth straight World Cup appearance earlier this year but has come under criticism over his player selections and tactics, especially following recent friendly losses to Brazil and Belgium. In particular, the former Yugoslavia international has enjoyed a contentious relationship with Japanese media who have bristled at his infamous tactical sermons and restrictions on player availability.

The report comes just hours before Japan face China on December 12 the second matchday of the EAFF E-1 Championship Final. Japan lead the group following their opening day win against DPR Korea just days earlier.