New Samurai Blue training center planned for 2021

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The Football Association () has chosen the Chiba city of Makuhari as the location of its planned national team training facility, Nikkan reported on Thursday.

The tentatively-named JFA Football Center, with a planned budget of four billion yen ($33.5 million), will be built within Makuhari Seaside Park, located less than one hour from downtown Tokyo by train.

The project has been in the works since last year, when the association’s board of directors expressed their desire to establish the facility in time for the organisation’s centennial anniversary in 2021.

“We hope to build a facility that can contribute to the national team’s training and medical support, provide top-class training for coaches and officials, and contribute to Japanese football’s international exchange and development,” read minutes from the JFA’s March 2014 meeting.

A formal announcement expected later on Thursday will surely be welcomed by coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who called for the JFA to create a dedicated training facility after assuming his current position in March.

The Football Center could give Makuhari another tourism boost; the area already boasts a baseball stadium for the popular Chiba Lotte Marines as well as the Makuhari Messe convention center.

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