NHK to Broadcast All Nadeshiko Games

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Saki Kumagai, second from left, and other Nadeshiko members start their training camp for the World Cup on June 27 in Chiba.

All of Japan’s matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which is scheduled to kick off on July 20, will be broadcast live by NHK, the Japan Football Association announced on Thursday.

NHK said it will air all three first-round games of Japan’s national soccer team Nadeshiko Japan and, if Nadeshiko advances to the round of 16, the following games as well. The public broadcaster will air Nadeshiko’s games mainly on the BS1 satellite TV channel. However, it plans to use the NHK-G terrestrial channel for the match against Spain, Nadeshiko’s third game, NHK said.

Difficult negotiations with FIFA over broadcasting rights for the event had led to prolonged uncertainty over whether the games would be broadcast on television in Japan.

“If many people watch the games, it will be a great motivation for the players,” commented JFA President Kozo Tashima.

“As a player, I am happy that people will be able to watch our games,” said defender and Nadeshiko captain Saki Kumagai. “I want to play boldly on the pitch with a sense of mission.”