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    Japan extend Moriyasu contract to 2026 World Cup

    Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu has extended his contract with the national team after a successful performance at the World Cup in Qatar.

    The Blue Samurai were one of the tournament’s surprises, beating Germany and Spain in the group stage to top Group E before being defeated on penalties by Croatia in the round of 16.

    After an impressive performance in Qatar, Japan Football Association President Kozo Tajima announced that Moriyasu had extended his contract until the end of the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

    Japan has competed in every World Cup since 1998, including as a co-host with South Korea four years later, but has never competed in consecutive tournaments under the same head coach – Moriyasu’s record will fluctuate.

    Ranked 50th when he took over in 2018, Japan has climbed to 20th in the FIFA World Rankings, their highest position since 2005 (15th).

    Team Moriyasu, ranked No. 1 in Asia, will return to action in March when they play two friendlies in the 2023 Kirin Challenge Cup.

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