Football: FAS renews MOU with Japan Football Association

FAS President Lim Kia Tong (left) and his JFA counterpart Kohzo Tashima inked an MOU on April 1, 2022. PHOTO: FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Friday (April 1) that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japan Football Association (JFA).

The three-year agreement for both parties' collaboration was inked by FAS President Lim Kia Tong and his JFA counterpart, Kohzo Tashima, in Doha, Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel ahead of the Fifa World Cup draw.

The MOU is the latest milestone in a relationship between the two national football bodies that dates back to April 2011, when the first such MOU was signed. It was renewed in February 2015 and ran for six years before this latest renewal.

Japan, an Asian powerhouse in football, have qualified for the last seven Fifa World Cups with second round advancements in 2002, 2010, and 2018.

The latest iteration of the MOU will incorporate the aims and objectives of the Unleash the Roar! national project aimed at lifting Singapore football standards with the goal of getting the Lions to the 2034 World Cup.

The collaboration between FAS and JFA will cover several areas such as coach education, exchange and attachment programmes, as well as organising friendly and international matches at both youth and senior levels.

Other areas of expertise that both parties will look to explore are football science and medicine, referee education, football administration and commercial and business opportunities.

Lim also noted that the relationship with JFA had played a part in the appointment of former Lions head coach Tatsuma Yoshida - who led the Singapore national team to the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup semis for the first time since 2012 last December. Yoshida resigned from his post in January.

Said Lim : "We are delighted to be able to continue our longstanding relationship with the JFA, which started almost 11 years ago, with this latest MOU renewal.

"Since we started our collaboration, we have had coaching placements, education courses, players' training and match initiatives take place, as well as several Japanese coaches come over to work within the Singapore youth system.

"The FAS has been engaged in an ongoing conversation with the JFA to renew this MOU since the previous iteration expired in early 2021, and we are confident that this latest partnership will see us work more extensively and closely together than ever before in order to help uplift the sport in both countries."

The partnership with JFA is the second deal that FAS has struck in a week. Last Saturday (March 26), FAS announced that it had signed a cooperative agreement with the French Football Federation (FFF) that will see both sides collaborate on two main areas: women's football development and technical exchange programme over the next three years.

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