Three Years of UAE and Japan Football Partnership Program Nurtures Sportsmanship Among Youths
(Abu Dhabi, March, 2019) The Abu Dhabi – Japan Football Partnership Program, implemented by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), have successfully completed a third year of activities focused on the technical and personal development of young Emirati and Japanese football players. The bilateral program is a unique collaboration based on mutual appreciation and respect that aims to jointly promote and further develop the sporting skills of young aspiring sportsmen by providing them with international experiences, exposure to different training methods, and opportunities for the youth of both countries to demonstrate, share and learn from their collective and individual strengths.
The FC Tokyo Youths Team visited Abu Dhabi as the reciprocal activities from February 14-21, 2019 and played matches with Abu Dhabi Elite, Al Jazira, Al Dhafra and Baniyas Academies. Earlier a similar programme was held in November 2018, where 18 young talents from Abu Dhabi’s football academies including Al Ain, Al Dhafra, Al Jazira, Al Wahda, and Baniyas, as well as including 6 young talents from the national team of their age groups visited Japan. The mission included a special training session with coaches of the FC Tokyo Academy, as well as a series of friendly matches against the FC Tokyo U15 and U18 teams and members of the Tokyo Training Center.
Mr. Wael Elseisi, Coach at Al Jazirah U18 said, “It was a fantastic experience to play against the Japanese team. The FC Tokyo players were more focused and tactical, but
they did not show bellicosity in their body language. I want my players to learn similar mindset which would make them capable to deal with any difficult situation not only on the football pitch but also in every situation in life.”
Continued Mr. Elseisi, “From the audience perspective, the parents were excited to watch their children play against the well trained team. It would be wonderful if one team from the UAE visits Japan in the future where our players have similar experiences in Japan.”
Ms. Houriya Al Taheri, Abu Dhabi Sports Council representative overseeing the Abu Dhabi – Japan Football Partnership Program said, “There were many positive elements to learn from the FC Tokyo team like their dedication, discipline, focus, hospitality and a friendly attitude. It was a great opportunity for our young sportsmen not only in terms of football training and advancing skills, but also for the cultural exchanges. They naturally picked up good aspects from their Japanese counterparts, becoming more disciplined in their approach, and more concentrated on the play”.
Mr. Satoru Asari, Sub-Academy Director at the FC Tokyo Youth Team said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for all of our players to travel to Abu Dhabi and experience a different culture. I was extremely impressed by the UAE’s level of investment for both football facilities and human resources. The club houses are amazing, the quality of the pitches is second to none, and there are many talented coaches on hand. One of my players was so impressed that he would consider moving to Abu Dhabi to join one of the clubs and study in the UAE.”
Shigeto Aoki, General Manager, JICE Abu Dhabi Office said, “The feedback from the players, coaches, football academies and parents from both countries has been overwhelmingly positive. We hope such programs will mutually elevate not only the sporting competitiveness of our future sports heroes, but also provide them with unique cross-cultural experiences that they can take with them well into their adult lives.”
The Abu Dhabi – Japan Football Partnership Program is one of many programmes JICE conducts for Emirati youth seeking to further develop their skills and education in Japan. In addition to sports, various programs are available from language, cultural, academic and technical study at both undergraduate and post graduate levels.
For more information about studying in Japan and the free assistance and services offered by JICE visit: www.jice.org/en/ or call: 02 652 6875