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Saburo Kawabuchi, former football association chair, may head Tokyo Olympic committee

Saburo Kawabuchi, former head of the Japan Football Association, is seen in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward in this March 19, 2019 photo. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Saburo Kawabuchi, the former head of the Japan Football Association (JFA), may succeed Yoshiro Mori as president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, multiple sources revealed on Feb. 11.

    The move comes after Mori, 83, suggested he intends to step down from his post following a global backlash over his remarks that meetings attended by many women "drag on."

    Kawabuchi, 84, played for Japan at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and scored an equalizer in a game against Argentina. He dedicated himself to building Japan's professional J-League, which played its first games in 1993, and served as its inaugural chairman from 1991 to 2002. After heading the JFA, he assumed the helm of the Japan Basketball Association, paving the way for the launch of the B-League.

    Kawabuchi is a councilor on the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and was appointed as mayor of the athletes' village in the capital's Harumi area.


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