The Japanese women’s blind football team defeated an IBSA World Select last Saturday to win the Saitama City Normalization Cup 2019
The Japanese team proved too strong for the world select team, which featured players from Europe, South America, Australasia and Africa. Star striker Kikushima put in an outstanding performance to give Japan the trophy.
The Normalization Cup 2019 took place at the Saiden Chemical Arena in the Prefecture of Saitama, just outside Tokyo. Around 1 000 spectators came along to watch their team defeat the world line-up.
Kikushima took the woman of the match trophy and Katharina Kühnlein from Germany won the other individual trophy for her fine performance.
Caption: Japan's number 10 Kikushima shoots at goal (© Japanese Blind Football Association).
The match was a fitting end to the activities and came after a two-day training camp for women players at the Nihon University 100th Anniversary Hall in the Japanese capital. The camp brought together players from nine countries - Argentina, Australia, Austria, UK, Germany, Nigeria, Sweden and Zimbabwe, in addition to the host country - for intense training sessions under the watchful eye of an experienced blind football coach.
The coach worked on the players’ technical and tactical skills during the intense training sessions and all the players improved noticeably over the two days.
Caption: players in training during the camp (© Japanese Blind Football Association).
This second international women’s blind football training camp and competition was hosted by the Japanese Blind Football Association
and the International Blind Football Foundation with support from main sponsors Tanaka Holdings and Saitama Prefecture.
As women’s blind football is now firmly established in several countries worldwide, the IBSA Football Committee is now working on plans to continue developing the women’s game, with the possibility of the first official tournaments taking place as early as next year.
Caption: Japan's captain raises the trophy, presented by the Mayor of Saitama (© Japanese Blind Football Association).