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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE hold press conference following their return from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™


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SAMURAI BLUE hold press conference following their return from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

08 December 2022

SAMURAI BLUE hold press conference following their return from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

On Wednesday 7 December, Japan Football Association (JFA) hosted a press conference for the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) in Narita City, Chiba, following their return to Japan from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo, JFA Technical Director SORIMACHI Yasuharu, SAMURAI BLUE’s Head Coach MORIYASU Hajime and team captain YOSHIDA Maya were among the speakers at the press conference. Coach Moriyasu commented on being greeted by a large number of fans and supporters at the airport when the team returned to Japan, “I'm glad the players' tenacious fighting spirit won over the fans. We ought to express our gratitude to everyone.” Yoshida continued by saying, “I'm genuinely delighted and would like to shake hands with every single one of them if I could. Through the difficult times, we battled together (with the fans and supporters), and I was happy to feel a sense of unity.”

When the team broke up in Doha, according to coach Moriyasu, he told the players, “The strength of the national team will increase as the level of the individual players increase. While we strive to play at a higher level, we must also remember to work together as a team.” Yoshida said that he told his teammates that "We should be honoured to have the opportunity to play for our nation in a sport that we love. There is no better job than this," and then sent a message to his teammates, saying, "Let's keep in mind how wonderful it is to fight for Japan, especially during difficult times."

The battle of SAMURAI BLUE has brought great excitement to the entire country. When asked how JFA would maintain this enthusiasm, President Tashima replied, “JFA is now running an app called 'JFA Passport,' which allows you to watch 'JFATV' and various other videos for free. Children who want to start playing football can download this app and play the challenge game to receive a 'starter kit' containing a backpack and a ball, so please give it a try. Prefectural associations are providing travelling guidance in kindergartens and nursery schools. Efforts are also made to train coaches so that football can be incorporated into physical education classes in primary schools. In order to keep this fire burning, we must concentrate on grassroots sport promotion.”


MORIYASU Hajime, Head Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
We would like to thank all our fans, supporters, and the people of Japan, for cheering us on and fighting with us. The players were greatly encouraged by the passionate support we received from Japan through the media and the fans and supporters who cheered us on in Qatar. Your support gave the team energy to compete against the rest of the world. As we prepared for the World Cup, we worked with the spirit and pride of Japan, and shared the goal of making the world recognise the value of Japanese football. I am happy to be able to share this with our fans, supporters, and the people of Japan in our fight against the world. We are happy if our activities bring joy and daily vitality to the people.

FP #22 YOSHIDA Maya (FC Schalke 04/Germany)
We were able to fight as a team. Even though it was the shortest World Cup (including the preparation period) I've ever attended, I had the most fun. We received many messages from Japan. I reminded myself how wonderful and irreplaceable it is to play for Japan, and I worked hard in training every day. This team will be disbanded, but we must not stop our progress. Our battle continues with the AFC Asian Cup and the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. As a footballer, I believe that I have to win battles every day. I would be thrilled if our performance at this competition inspired young people to love football, revitalised the J.League, and promoted the development of Japanese football.

TASHIMA Kohzo, JFA President
I would like to thank Coach Moriyasu and the players for giving their all at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported the SAMURAI BLUE on various media outlets, travelled to Doha to cheer on the team, and showed an interest in football. Since 2006, JFA has been working to comprehend the beauty and strengths of Japan, and to develop these strengths from the developmental age groups under the slogan “Japan's way.” This competition served as a reminder for me of the value of perseverance and making a concerted effort to achieve our objectives. It also made me realise that we are steadily making progress towards our goal of hosting the World Cup in Japan by 2050 and winning that tournament. Nagatomo frequently used the word “bravo” during the tournament. It is a phrase that is commonly used in Western nations, and I hope that our society will one day allow people to openly applaud good things that have occurred around them. I would like to see Japan become a country where people talk about their dreams openly and proudly. Lastly, I feel that coach Moriyasu has taught me the value of having faith in others, as he showed his faith in his team. Once again, we would like to express our gratitude to the people of Japan and all those involved with the team.

SORIMACHI Yasuharu, JFA Technical Director
I have mixed feelings about the barrier that has been preventing us from making it to the top eight after the match against Croatia. In order to accelerate our development, we would like to summarise the competition and also analyse the matches played by Japan. I didn't know how the team was viewed in Japan because I had been in Doha for so long, but when I arrived at Narita Airport, we were greeted by a large number of media, fans, and supporters. It made me happy to learn that the Japanese people valued our work. The JFA will work to keep this fire burning and to make it even bigger. Many people stayed up late or got up early to support the SAMURAI BLUE. We would like to express our gratitude to each and every one of our supporters through our football activities in the future.

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