The embassy of Japan strengthened its ties with the Philippines through the donation of football jerseys and balls to the Philippine Football Federation in a simple turnover ceremony yesterday at the PFF Office in Pasig City.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta Jr. and head of youth development Tetsuya Tsuchida welcomed Shigehiro Matsuda of the Japan Information and Culture Center at the federation’s headquarters to receive the football equipment.
Araneta, whose term will expire this November, expressed his gratitude to the Japanese government, which has been a staunch supporter of the Philippines’ development in football.
“We appreciate not only what the Japanese government has done but also the Japan Football Association. They have been very supportive of us ever since I took over the presidency in 2010, they were the first country to congratulate me,” Araneta said.
“They supported our FOF (Festival of Football) and they would always invite us to the JENESYS project. It has been a fruitful collaboration with Japan.”
The equipment donation, according to Tsuchida, will be a great help in the PFF’s goal of improving the quality of football players here in the country.
“I want to increase the level of the athletes and teams here in the Philippines. The biggest challenge is increasing the popularity of the sport and training the potential athletes here,” Tsuchida, who was appointed last March, said.