The Japan Football Association have hired a trilingual Jordanian to assist in preparations for upcoming World Cup qualifying according to Sponichi.
The unnamed 30-year-old, who reportedly speaks English and Japanese in addition to Arabic, will be in charge of gathering information on Japan’s West Asian opponents. He has previously served as a translator for Masahiko Okiyama, the coach of the Jordan women’s national team.
While the Samurai Blue have frequently found themselves grouped with West Asian nations in World Cup qualifying and the Asian Cup, the lack of Arabic speakers within the JFA have forced staffers to rely on what little English-language information is available from the region.
“He’s the first foreigner to be employed by the JFA,” an official told Sponichi. “We needed to improve our knowledge of West Asia.”
It is uncertain whether or not the hiring was sought by Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who has urged a number of changes since taking his post in mid-March.
Japan will face Syria in the second stage of World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying along with Afghanistan, Singapore, and Cambodia.