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Organisers host welcome reception day prior to opening of U-16 International Dream Cup 2017 JAPAN presented by The Asahi Shimbun

14 June 2017

Organisers host welcome reception day prior to opening of U-16 International Dream Cup 2017 JAPAN presented by The Asahi Shimbun

On the day prior to the commencement of the “U-16 International Dream Cup 2017 JAPAN presented by The Asahi Shimbun” on Tuesday 13 June, the organisers hosted a welcome reception for the participants in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Players, coaches, and staff of the participating teams from Japan, Guinea, Netherlands, and USA gathered and over 100 people attended the reception.

In the opening speech, JFA Secretary General IWAGAMI Kazumichi stated, ‘I hope the players will become better footballers by participating in the tournament and central players for their respective top national teams in the future as well. During the tournament, a visit to the distress areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake and other cultural exchange programmes are scheduled. It is my sincere hope to see the players cultivate friendship through these activities and deepen their understanding of Japanese culture as well.’

In regards to the tournament, Vice Major of City of Sendai INABA Nobuyoshi commented, ‘This year marks the 20th anniversary since the official opening of the Yurtec Stadium Sendai. It is an honour for us to host the coming tournament in the commemorative year of the Yurtec Stadium. I believe the competition will bring “hopes and dreams” for the people in Sendai.’ Concerning the various cultural exchange programmes and other off-the-pitch activities, he added, ‘Not only I am looking forward to the competitive matches on the pitch, but also the players fostering friendship through participating in the various off-the-pitch activities as well.’

Participating teams performed their traditional song and dance on the stage, and the reception hall was soon filled with a cheerful atmosphere with the audience clapping along with the music.

Furthermore, “Omotekohji10 (Traditional festive dance performance group of Sendai)” performed one of the Sendai’s traditional arts known as “Sendai Suzume Odori (Sendai Sparrow’s Dance)”. Players were entertained and enthralled with the stunning performance of the traditional dance coupled with the live music of the flute and “Taiko (Japanese barrel-shaped drums)”.

At the end of the reception, Feudal Lord MASAMUNE Date’s battle ritual known as “Lord Date’s Ippon-jime (Lord Date’s ritualistic hand-clapping used for closing)” was performed by all the attendees to ensure the success of the tournament and wish the best for all the participating teams.

The much-awaited tournament will finally commence on Wednesday 14 at the Yurtec Stadium Sendai. On the opening day, U-16 Guinea National will meet U-16 USA National Team at 3 p.m., and U-16 Japan National Team will take on U-16 Netherlands National Team at 6 p.m. 


Alioune DRAME (U-16 Guinea National Team)
I had an exciting and joyful night at the reception. We enjoyed dancing together with other players.

Jose RIVAS (U-16 USA National Team)
In the reception, I enjoyed the most the performance by the Japanese group. I am also pleased to participate in the tournament with teams from 4 different continents as a US international. I am expecting a wonderful experience from this tour.

Martinus Meinen (U-16 Netherlands National Team / Staff member)
We saw different teams demonstrate their traditional cultural dances on the stage. I enjoyed the performance by the Guinean players as well as the “Sendai Suzume Dance” performed at the end of the reception.


2017-6-14(Wed.), 16(Fri.) and 18(Sun.)
Yurtec Stadium Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture[All Matches Free of Admission]

Tournament Information
Live Streaming of ALL Matches available on JFA-TV (More information on live streaming)

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