One of the strongest structured competitions in Asia, Japan’s J League has signed on to a partnership agreement with the Football Federation of Cambodia in what is seen as a major developmental boost for the Kingdom, which ranks among the lowest rungs of world football.
The historic memorandum of understanding between the FFC and the J League was formally signed in Phnom Penh on Friday, with FFC president Sao Sokha and J League chairman Kazumi Ohigashi affixing their signatures to the document, which outlines mutual co-operation in several key areas of football development.
“J League is Asia’s strongest [domestic club competition] and among the best in the world. To partner such a powerful football entity is a boon to Cambodian football,” Sao Sokha told the members of the media, several high ranking officials from the FFC and special guests from Japan.
“Cambodia and Japan have traditionally shared great friendship and co-operation and this partnership further binds the two countries together.”
J League chief Ohigashi said Cambodia could count on help in all key areas of development with a sharp focus on augmenting the Kingdom’s grass-roots promotion at various levels.
The J League has made similar partnership deals with several other countries in the region. A parallel project, run by former J Leaguer Masao Kiba to find talented Cambodian youngsters who could make the grade in Japan, is currently going strong.
Kiba, who is a representative of the Japan Dream Football Association, organised a junior camp at the Old Stadium on Saturday.