HOME > CSR > Reconstruction Support > NEWS > JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo and coach Vahid HALILHODZIC visit Kumamoto


  │ List │  

JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo and coach Vahid HALILHODZIC visit Kumamoto

06 May 2016

JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo and coach Vahid HALILHODZIC visit Kumamoto

TASHIMA Kohzo, the President of the Japan Football Association, and Vahid HALILHODZIC, the coach of SAMURAI BLUE, paid a visit to the disaster-affected area in Kumamoto on Thursday 5 May.

First, they went to JFA Academy Kumamoto Uki. The President and the coach could not meet the pupils, as they had returned to their families. The staff and children in the neighbourhood, who regularly played football, welcomed them with applause.

Then they moved to Uki City Matsubase General Sports & Cultural Hall Center (Wing Matsubase), which is currently used as one of the evacuation centres. The Uki mayor MORITA Kenshi showed them around.

They also visited the Kumamoto prefectural office building, in which the prefectural governor KABASHIMA Ikuo, Commerce and Tourism Labour Director, Tourism Economy Exchange Chief, and International Sports Promotion Chief greeted their arrival. The prefectural governor Kabashima expressed his gratitude for them coming to Kumamoto as well as for the charity match between the U-23 Japan National Team and Ghana next week. The JFA President Tashima told them that they would continue their support as much as possible, including through sports.

Then the party went to the headquarters for disaster control, where the coach Halilhodzic expressed his message with applause: ‘I respect all of you, who continue to work hard for the residents of this prefecture, with any thought of yourselves.’

Many lively children and the players of Roasso Kumamoto welcomed them at the next destination, AzuAile Sports Park in Kosa Town. The children, who could lose their usual practice grounds after the earthquakes, enjoyed themselves playing football with the Roasso players.

After giving an autograph to every child, the coach Halilhodzic was invited onto the pitch by MAKI Seiichiro from Roasso Kumamoto. Although it was only for a short time, the coach enjoyed playing football with the children, communicating with each other.

The party drove to the severely disaster-affected area, Mashiki Town. The scenery on the way vividly showed the gravity of the earthquakes. The coach Vahid Halilhodzic seemed to be in shock, while listening to explanation from the President Tashima, who had already been there once on 22 April.

In the end, they went to see people in an evacuation centre in Mashiki Town. They delivered some emergency relief goods and communicated with volunteers from across the country. The children from a local football team and Mashiki Renaissance women’s team players were on a futsal pitch. The President and the coach talked with each of them, making them smile.

Before leaving Kumamoto, they dropped by to see a football team for people with mental disabilities in Mashiki Town. Despite the short time, they communicated with them, while giving autographs as well as shaking hands.

The Japan Football Association will continue our support through football, so that the disaster-affected areas will recover as soon as possible.


TASHIMA Kohzo, the President of the Japan Football Association
As it was ‘children’s day’ today, I visited areas with the coach Vahid HALILHODZIC, hoping that we could put smiles on the faces of the children. I know we cannot easily solve many problems here and it will take a long time. However, the Japan Football Association will continue our support, cooperating with the Kumamoto Football Association and Roasso Kumamoto.

I was really delighted to see many children smiling today. By exercising and smiling, I hope they can reduce their stress a little, which is vital for children. I’d like to create opportunities for them to exercise through many sports, not just football. I believe that other sport-related organisations, as well as many football players from abroad, will also visit here soon.

Today I saw the damage of the earthquakes, and just felt sad. Many houses were destroyed. It was truly disastrous. I paid a visit with the JFA President, hoping that we could do something for the people there.

I also felt a responsibility to come here as a person, not to mention as a coach of the national team. All Japanese must understand that they need to offer some support. I do hope people in the disaster-affected areas know: ‘they’re not alone. We’re here for you.’ All the staff in each category and the players of the JFA feel the same way. I thought we needed to prepare well before coming. I’m really glad I’m here today, but I do feel deep sadness at the same time.

We shall not forget the people affected by it. I’m determined to help them. I believe that first I must support them in a personal capacity, and then I will support them through sports. I hope sports, including football, will help people as well.

Many people are still waiting for some assistance. I heard there are many fans of the Japan National Teams. This time, I only did small things, but I’d like to continue until they have recovered.

KAWASHIMA Kana (Mashiki Renaissance Kumamoto F.C)
I felt much more positive after today’s visit by the coach Vahid HALILHODZIC and by communicating well with him. It was great. I appreciate that, as I became determined to do things harder despite this tough situation.

Our home ground had some cracks, which doesn’t allow us to play football. There are also some tents at the moment. Each of my teammates tries to find a practice ground to play football. During Halilhodzic’s visit, I could play with a local boys’ team, BIGWAVE, which made me realise again the joy of playing football. I also felt I could do more by understanding the level of support we have. I’d like to lead the team to stay positive.

I enjoyed playing with the Roasso Kumamoto players. Then I was made up that I got an autograph from the coach HALILHODZIC. Many of my teammates live in Mashiki Town, and haven’t been able to go back to their places. Currently, we hold practice sessions at the AzuAile Sports Park, which is not our usual ground. Although my house has got some cracks, I think it’s ok.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  │ List │  
The JFA Ideal

Through football, we realise the full benefits that sports can bring to our lives
the soundness of our bodies, the expansion of our minds,
and the enrichment of our societies.

The JFA Ideal, Vision, Values