Farah Dhiba / 26 October 2021.
Japan is known as an orderly and disciplined country. Therefore, unsurprisingly, Japan became the first Asian country to qualify for the World Cup final in two consecutive tournaments. In 2011, Japan has become the Champion at the world cup with a 3-1 victory on penalties against the United States. In 2015, Japan once again qualified for the finals against the United States but lost 5-2.
The Japanese Women’s Soccer Association was first established in April 1979 by introducing a Football Tournament held on a Mitsubishi artificial pitch. In 1989, 6 clubs became the founders of a new league in Japan called the Japan Ladies Soccer League.
Japanese manager Norio Sasaki was the trigger to the strength of the Japanese women’s team. He uses tiki-taka tactics in his game. This tactic was founded by the Spanish and Barcelona Fc. This tactical system is designed to help a skilled team face a more physically dominant opposing team. As we all know, the physicality of Asian people is smaller when compared to the physicality of people from European countries. Fun fact, the Japanese goalkeeper is the lowest height in the World Cup.
However, with the efforts of the managers and the players, the weakness from the physical point of view is not an obstacle for them to win the World Cup.
Now, Japan is one step further ahead, by establishing the first professional football league for their women known as the WE League in September 2021. The league is joined by 11 participating clubs. It was one of the very good efforts made by the Japan Football Association. As the saying goes, “it’s never late to start”.
Hopefully, Malaysia can develop more good programs for developing women football.