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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ogura to replace Inukai as JFA chief

Kyodo News

Japan Football Association vice president Junji Ogura is set to take over from Motoaki Inukai as president, JFA officials said Saturday.

The appointment of the 71-year-old Ogura, a FIFA Executive Committee member since 2002, will be finalized Sunday along with a new board.

Inukai, who is also the chairman of the bid committee trying to bring the 2022 World Cup to Japan, will step down at the end of July after completing just one two-year term.

Saburo Kawaguchi, Inukai's predecessor, served three terms.

He had previously shown interest in staying on but sources said his high-handed approach has drawn criticism within the JFA.

Inukai has insisted on the implementation of a fall-spring season in the J. League and disagrees with J. League chairman Kenji Onitake, who wants to keep the current spring-winter season schedule.

Inukai continued to support once under-fire Japan coach Takeshi Okada. Japan reached the round of 16 for the first time on foreign soil in the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Ogura took the post of JFA vice president in 1998. He will retire as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee next year.

Last month, Ogura received the FIFA Order of Merit for his contribution to soccer.

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