Okano, Japan’s organizer of 2002 World Cup, dies at 85

by Associated Press on February 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm

TOKYO (AP) — The soccer official who led Japan’s organizing committee of the 2002 World Cup has died. Shun-Ichiro Okano was 85.

Japan’s soccer federation announced on Friday that Okano died from lung cancer on Thursday in a hospital in Tokyo.

Okano played for and coached the national team, and served a four-year term as the soccer federation’s president through the 2002 World Cup co-hosted with South Korea.

The federation says in a statement it “would like to extend our deep gratitude for his lifelong dedication.”

Okano was also a member of the International Olympic Committee for more than 20 years until he reached the mandatory age limit of 80. He became an honorary IOC member in 2012.