Former Japanese women’s national team player criticises federation for unprofessionalism -- Mar 10

Japan’s women’s national team finished second in February’s SheBelieves Cup held in the United States.

The Japanese team edged Brazil and Canada for second spot, despite picking up just three points from nine on offer in the round-robin tournament that also featured the US women’s national team.

The women’s team picked up a 3-0 win over Canada on the final day of the tournament to finally record its first victory. Goal difference enabled Japan to end the competition in second place after a disappointing campaign in the States.

The Women’s World Cup 2023 is fast-approaching, and Japan are aiming to win a second title. Football fans can bet365 で日本でベットする on the Women’s World Cup and the team they believe will lift the tournament’s trophy.

In the wake of Japan’s poor showing in the SheBelieves Cup, former women’s national team member Yuki Nagasato spoke about her decision to leave the national team before the 2016 Olympic Games. Nagasato claimed she no longer had the energy or motivation to continue playing with the national to improve it for the future.

In Nagasato’s opinion, there was a lack of respect shown to the team’s players by the coaching staff. Before finally explaining her departure from the Japanese women’s national team, Nagasato had remained silent for seven years over the matter.

Nagasato played 12 years for the Japanese women’s national team, appearing in 132 matches and scoring 58 goals. She helped Japan win the 2011 Women’s World Cup and four years later, was a part of the team that finished second behind the US. In between those World Cup appearances, Nagasato won a silver medal with the Japanese women’s national team at the 2012 Olympics.

A lack of professionalism drove Nagasato out of the national team setup. The environment created and its aftermath could be one of the main issues currently affecting the women’s national team. Following Japan’s runner-up performance in 2015 at the Women’s World Cup, the team struggled four years later in France.

Under coach Asako Takakura, Japan reached the round of 16, where they were eliminated by the Netherlands 2-1. It ended a string of back-to-back appearances in the Women’s World Cup final.

Although Nagasato was unhappy with the coaching staff at the time of her departure, she later understood some of the problems came directly from the Japanese Football Federation. The SheBelieves Cup was a time for Nagasato to speak up about the Japanese women’s national team. The tournament wasn’t broadcast or covered to a large extent in Japan. According to Nagasato, she feels like the JFA is trying to “cancel” everything the women’s national team achieved in 2011 and 2015.

The Women’s World Cup 2023 will see Japan and 31 other national teams compete for the richest prize in women’s football. The tournament will kick off on July 20 and conclude on August 20, with Australia and New Zealand co-hosting the event. Japan will compete in Group C against Spain, Costa Rica, and Zambia. Japan are 25/1 to win the Women’s World Cup 2023.