Japan soccer president tests positive for coronavirus following trip to U.S., Europe

On the same day the International Olympic Committee announced that the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo are still on, the head of the Japan Football Association announced in statement that he has tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Europe and the United States, according to the Associated Press.

“I have slight fever and pneumonia … but otherwise I’m doing fine,” Japan FA president Kozo Tashima said.

Tashima, who is also the vice chairman of Japan’s Olympic Committee, visited Europe and the U.S. from Feb. 28 to March 8, according to the AP. The report says he had himself tested positive after Serbia’s FA president, who was sitting close to him at a UEFA meeting in Amsterdam in early March, tested positive himself.

The Japanese women’s national team was in the United States for the SheBelieves Cup. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson couldn’t confirm if Tashima attended the Japan vs. England match on March 8 at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, which fell during his trip window. The spokesperson also couldn’t confirm if Tashima met with any U.S. Soccer officials during his visit. U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro stepped down from his last week at the end of the SheBelieves Cup. 

Tashima apologized to Japan Football Association officials, staff, and journalists after potentially exposing them to the virus.

“By facing squarely with the disease, I hope to contribute to eliminating prejudice against the new coronavirus,” he said. “I will cooperate in various research for the disease, and I will be back.”

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