Japan Football Association (JFA) president Kohzo Tashima claimed on Saturday that the news that the Japan is seeking to join the UEFA Nations League is true.
Recently, rumors that the Japanese Football Association is planning to join the next UEFA Nations League have intensified. Some media said that the Football Association’s move is aimed at increasing the chances of Japan’s confrontation with European teams, so that the national team can better prepare for the 2026 World Cup.
Kohzo Tashima’s statement
“The future participation of the Japanese team in the UEFA Nations League is one of our ideas, and I will explore this possibility in the future,” Kohzo Tashima confirmed to reporters at a news conference. He then said cautiously that the idea “doesn’t have any concrete plans right now”; but he also realized the urgency of strengthening exchanges with Europe. “If we don’t play against teams from other continents, the national team will not be able to improve,” Tajima said.
The Nations League was established in 2019 and is regarded as an international football competition attended by the 55 member states of UEFA. Its establishment also means that there are significantly fewer opportunities for exchanges between non-European teams and European teams. Since the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Japanese team has only had one chance to play a friendly match with a European team (Serbia).