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Japanese Embassy donates equipment to PFF

The PFF and Embassy of Japan strengthen their ties through donations of balls and jerseys to the youth teams. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—To help develop the football scene in the Philippines, the Embassy of Japan, in partnership with the Japan Football Association, donated equipment to the Philippine Football Federation.

The embassy formally handed over a donation of practice jerseys and footballs on Thursday to the PFF office.

First Secretary Shigehiro Matsuda represented the Japanese embassy, while PFF president Nonong Araneta and head of youth development Tetsuya Tsuchida accepted the gifts.

"We appreciate what not only the Japanese government has done but also the Japan Football Association, which has been very supportive of us," Araneta said.

Matsuda, who speaks Tagalog fluently, added, "Tuluy-tuloy po ang kooperasyon natin," adding that the donation drive has been planned months in advance already with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also lending a hand in making this happen.

Matsuda added that more partnership programs are in place, which could possibly include a suggestion for the men's and women's senior teams to hold training camps in Japan.

The biggest beneficiaries of the event, though, are the youth teams that are now being overseen by Tsuchida.

Tsuchida hopes that with the new equipment, the play of the future Azkals and Filipinas prospects would improve tremendously as he now looks to boost the popularity of football in the Philippines.

"The biggest challenges here in the Philippines are to increase the popularity of soccer in the Philippines and also train potential athletes here," said Tsuchida, who was appointed last March.

He then said that he plans to continue instilling what he coached the young footballers in Japan to the young Filipino booters.

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