AFC President hails Japan football during visit
Tokyo: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, recently visited the headquarters of the Japan Football Association (JFA) in the capital, Tokyo.
Shaikh Salman met and congratulated Kohzo Tashima, the JFA President who sits on the FIFA Council and AFC Executive Committee, before being given a tour of the Association’s headquarters.
The AFC President said: “Japan is one of the leading football nations in Asia – something that they have demonstrated by winning the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2018 and finishing as runners-up in the men’s AFC Asian Cup which has just concluded in the United Arab Emirates.
“The men’s team were also one of a record number of five Asian nations that qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Russia and were the only one of those five that progressed into the second round of the competition – and came within a few minutes of eliminating Belgium."
“The success Japan enjoys at every level – they are AFC U-16 Champions and their women’s teams won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and took the silver medal at both the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship and the Youth Olympic Games – is down to hard work and great organisation.
“In the last two years, their teams have also won the AFC Champions League – Urawa Red Diamonds in 2017 and last year Kashima Antlers lifted the trophy in Tehran. I was extremely happy to be able to congratulate my good friend, Kohzo Tashima, on the well-deserved success that the Japan FA and Japanese football has enjoyed.”
The Japan FA President said: “It is a huge pleasure and honour for us at the JFA to receive the AFC President. He has been close to Japanese football for a long time, since the time Junji Ogura was the President of the JFA.”