Japan’s success at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ was recognised at the National Stadium in Tokyo tonight when Japanese Football Association President Junji Ogura and Japan captain Homare Sawa were presented with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions Badge, a visual reminder of the team’s success in Germany earlier this summer.
The badge, featuring an image of the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy and the text 'FIFA World Champions 2011', was handed over by FIFA Executive Committee member and AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong and legendary former China forward Sun Wen, who was named FIFA Women’s Player of the Century in 2000 and scored seven goals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999 en route to winning both the adidas Golden Shoe and Golden Ball.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter congratulated the world champions by saying: “Today is an important day for Japan. The Japanese team combined attractive passing football with real tenacity. Despite twice going behind to the USA, they emerged victorious to become the first FIFA Women’s World Cup champions from Asia. After the terrible natural disaster that occurred in March earlier this year, I know this victory was all the more uplifting for the people in Japan. This badge is a gesture of both respect and recognition for the national team’s wonderful achievement.”
Starting with tonight’s charity match against an All-Star team from the Japan Women’s Football League for reconstruction assistance following the Great East Japan earthquake, the Nadeshiko will wear the FIFA World Champions Badge on their jerseys in every national team match until the final whistle of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ in Canada.
“This is the very first Champions Badge for Japan and it is a great honour for all of us in the football family that our national team will play with the badge for the next four years,” said JFA President Junji Ogura. “I hope Nadeshiko Japan will do their best to continue playing their style of football which impressed so many people at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, expressing the beauty of football throughout the world.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions Badge is just one in a series of FIFA World Champions Badges which are awarded to the winners of selected FIFA events. The first team to be presented with the badge was the Italian men’s national team, champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, with the Spanish national team recently taking over this honour after their success in South Africa. Since 2007, the winners of the Women’s World Cup and the champions of the FIFA Club World Cup have also received such a FIFA World Champions Badge.