The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) on Thursday formally received a donation of practice jerseys and footballs from the Embassy of Japan through the Japan Football Association at the national sports association’s office in Pasig. 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 replied, “This partnership and cooperation will continue,” adding that the donation drive has been planned months in advance already with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan also lending a hand in making this happen. Matsuda added 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. Tsuchida said he plans to continue instilling what he coached the young footballers in Japan to the young Filipino booters.
Source: Philippines News Agency