As Naho, me and Japanese fans started to deliver a voice of criticism to the Twitter account for the federation, they started to do a little bit better job than before we spoke out. But this is not good enough even now it's available to watch the game on YouTube. Of course the core fans will watch this, but probably not many people would recognize this game was played. That's why LIVE streaming is super important for any sport.
The federation uploaded Full- Match video on their YouTube after 5 days the game was played. Even if you watch this game on their YouTube, there is no commentator, no picture/name of the starting eleven, no details about the team and player to get to know. There is no information other than just the game being played.
Since we knew there is no live broadcasting and streaming, Naho did live tweeting the other days for both 2 matches against Brazil and USA instead of the federation supposed to do.
She should not have done this job, but what she did was delivered to the world as a message to the federation what they are supposed to do if they know that there is no broadcasting.
Well, they FINALLY did live tweeting for the last game against Canada. Now you see that they are capable of doing that, but they didn't before.
We think that the lack of broadcast this time for the She Believes Cup is due to the fact that the federation has not done anything for 12 years to maintain or improve to make our value and also the abilities to compete at the world stage. We’ve been seeing lack of promoting our game, and lack of setting up matches in Japan even though WE WON THE WORLD CUP.
We don’t want you to misunderstand, this is not only this time problem. Lack of many things has been building up, and this is the result of what they’ve done for us.
After winning the World Cup, we always played with a sense of urgency that our popularity would not last long unless we continue to be able to compete at the world stage. Because We knew the nature of the Japanese very well, and we knew that if we didn't keep winning, we would get less media coverage. And we were feeling a lack of support from the federation.
Lots of media covered us during that time between 2011-2015, it was on the TV news often, so the federation didn’t even need to work harder for promoting in earnest. Because lots of people generally wanted to watch our game, and "Nadeshiko" was popular, so they could get enough views. But they didn't set up enough games in Japan or any match they could make on FIFA day.
This is the issue that we haven’t played enough games in Japan as once world champion but also in general as well, and people should watch us through the TV most of time because we’ve played a lots outside of country.
Firstly, it is not okay to have not enough games in Japan, but we couldn’t ask the federation for better and more opportunities to play. We've thought that we should’ve had more games against the quality of the team specially in Japan. We couldn’t speak loud because we were afraid of it. And unfortunately it gradually has been getting worse.
And then the federation’s direction was changed and they suddenly cut off the majority of experienced and well-known players after we lost the qualification tournament for Rio Olympic 2016. And they started building up a completely different team/organization than before. Since then it has not gotten as much recognition/attention as well as we used to have.
Our Achievement for the past 12 years
So, Let’s have a look at what we've achieved since 2011.
Algarve Cup 2011 : 3rd Place
FIFA World Cup 2011 : Champion
Qualification Tournament for London Olympic 2012 : 1st place/6
Algarve Cup 2012 : 2nd place/12
London Olympic Games 2012 : 2nd place
Algarve Cup 2013 : 5th place/12
Algarve Cup 2014 : 2nd place/12
Asian Cup 2014 : Champion
Algarve Cup 2015 : 9th place/12
FIFA World Cup 2015 : 2nd place
Qualification Tournament for Rio Olympic 2016 : 3rd place/6 (not qualified)
Changed Head Coach
Algarve Cup 2017 : 6th place/12
Tournament of nation 2017 : 3rd Place/4
Tournament of nation 2018 : 4th place/4
Asian Cup 2018 : Champion
She believes cup 2019 : 3rd place/4
FIFA World Cup 2019 : Lost in the first game of the knockout stage.
She Believes Cup 2020 : 4th place/4
Tokyo Olympic Games 2021 : Lost in the first game of the knockout stage
Changed head coach
Asian Cup 2022 : 3rd place
She believes Cup 2023 : 2nd place
It’s not easy to build up a team like to be able to be competitive at the world stage consistently. Especially playing a game against a team in top 10 for the FIFA rank. We became competitive after many years, and we can say that we could've stayed there for 4-5 years.
Slowly we’ve dropped down (not getting the results consistently) but other countries are getting better too, it’s hard to analyze between these two, but we will say that the federation definitely could have managed better because we've had lots of possibilities to compete for the World Stage.
That's why it’s super necessary to make value as a content which we continue to get attention from fans and to get them feeling that to be willing to support. And to provide and extend that opportunity for people who want to watch the game as well.
Women’s sports always have lower media coverage and lower attendance than men’s sports in Japan. Of course it’s related to the performance on the field and the effort off the field. But do people get enough opportunities for getting to know about their attractiveness? And are we able to manage that without depending on the result? If the team plays an attractive game, there are people who still want to watch the game.
The management of setting up more playing game opportunities and getting media coverage should not be depending on the result.
But from my understanding, the national team should aim to win all the time. There is no such game that it’s ok to lose. And the federation should support players to maximize the possibility to win with all the cost they have. To give them enough opportunity to play in front of fans. The players should be selected by right evaluation for that.