Tokyo, July 20 (IANS) The women’s professional football leagues in Spain and Japan signed a collaboration agreement in Tokyo on Friday to promote the growth of the sport, which will include training exchanges between clubs and the organization of friendly matches.
Spain’s La Liga and Japan’s Nadeshiko League will follow in the footsteps of the men’s professional football championships in both countries, who signed a similar deal in 2017 to hold joint tournaments, seminars and training programmes for coaches and young players, reports Efe.
The deal, which was signed at the headquarters of the Japan Football Association, also includes exchange programmes at the institutional level and is the first such agreement between the Japanese women’s football league and a foreign competition, La Liga said in a statement.
“We believe that the experience of both competitions can bring enormous benefits to women’s football in both countries,” said Pedro Malabia, La Liga Women’s Football Director, who was present at the event.
In addition to the heads of the two leagues, also attending the event was Asako Takakura, the Japanese national women’s team manager, and Japanese players including Erina Yamane, goalkeeper of Real Betis, Minori Chiba, Maya Yamamoto, Hitomi Tanaka and Michi Goto, all of whom have played in Spanish clubs.
Last season, nine Japanese players played in the Iberdrola League, the first division of women’s football in Spain.