Under the terms of a one-year contract with the VPF signed on Feb. 18, Tanaka Koji, 59, becomes only the second Japanese official to hold the post of V-League organizer.
His predecessor, Kazuyoshi Tanabe, despite a tremendous effort, was unsuccessful in improving Vietnam’s football sector and retired to his homeland for health-related reasons.
“In the first two weeks, I plan to work closely with VPF leaders and make several fact-finding tours to study the local football sector, with a focus on matches, players, coaches, audiences, training, and infrastructure”, Koji said.
“I will then report back to the V-League organizing board and officially start getting down to business”, he added.
Born in Saitama city in 1955, Tanaka Koji played the positions of striker and defender for Japan’s national football team.
In January 1982 he had the opportunity to compete against legendary footballer Diego Maradona in a friendly match.
He also served as stint as chief coach of Japan’s junior team from 1993 to 1995, and CEO of Vegalta Sendai FC.