Singapore looking to replace Japanese football coach: reports

By Hoang Nguyen   November 28, 2023 | 11:01 pm PT
Singapore looking to replace Japanese football coach: reports
Singapore national football's team head coach Takayuki Nishigaya. Photo by Reuters
Following two lackluster defeats in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Singapore plans to part ways with head coach Takayuki Nishigaya, according to media reports.

After the 1-3 defeat to Thailand at World Cup qualifiers in the National Stadium on Nov. 21, many fans chanted for coach Nishigaya to leave.

Previously a star-studded South Korea had thrashed Singapore 5-0 in Seoul.

The frustrated fans might get what they wish for.

The Straits Times reported that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is scouting for candidates to replace Nishigaya, who signed a two-year contract in April 2022.

One possible candidate is another Japanese, Kazuaki Yoshinaga, who recently won his fourth Coach of the Year award after winning the fourth Singapore Premier League title with Albirex Niigata.

FAS has been in touch with Yoshinaga for the national coach's job, and sees him a "potential candidate as he has intimate knowledge of the local scene and has had experience coaching national players."

Yoshinaga said: "It is a fantastic opportunity, and if I have a chance, it’s certainly something I would consider," as cited by The Straits Times.

According to Chinese news site 163, former Vietnamese coach Park Hang-seo is also a contender.

"[He] is a strong candidate the FAS is aiming for if they sack coach Takayuki Nishigaya. In the past coach Park had a successful spell with the Vietnamese national team."

South Korean newspaper Daum said: "It is uncertain whether Park Hang-seo will return to coaching. He still maintains a good relationship with Vietnamese football despite leaving the national team. In a recent interview Park affirmed that he wants to take a break for a while before returning to work."

Park was rumored to have negotiated a contract with the Football Federation of Thailand to replace coach Mano Polking. But Thailand decided to sign up Japanese coach Masatada Ishii.

Besides, the Indonesian media has called for hiring Park as national coach in place of Shin Tae-yong, and V. League club HCMC FC is also rumored to be interested in him.

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