The national soccer team has added a new sponsor and gained a media outlet for added publicity after signing a deal with Taiwan Tohan Co, which is the publisher of Soccer One, the nation’s only magazine about professional soccer.
Taiwan coach Kazuo Kuroda, Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) chairman Lin Yung-cheng and CTFA secretary-general Chen Wen-jen signed the sponsorship agreement with Taiwan Tohan Co president Yoshiyuki Saiki in Taipei yesterday.
The deal makes Soccer One the official publication of Taiwan’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. The quarterly Chinese-language magazine is to feature analysis and news stories about the teams.
“This is a great stride forward. The magazine will help to promote the game’s development, generate a national passion for soccer and attract more fans to follow the teams. It will make the players feel proud to represent the nation,” Lin said.
Saiki announced that the spring issue of the magazine would be out soon. Each issue includes a ticket to the Taiwan men’s Asian Cup Group E qualifier against Turkmenistan at the Taipei Municipal Stadium on March 26.
Taiwan Tohan Co is part of Japan’s Tohan Group, which is a leading publisher and distributor of books, magazines and comics, and Saiki said his company has dedicated much effort and financial resources to publishing Soccer One for the past six years.
Saiki said the magazine is yet to make a profit, as the market for a Taiwanese soccer magazine is so small.
“We feel it is our mission to keep it going, because there is no other magazine dedicated to soccer in this country. We are the only one,” Saiki said.
Talking about the match against Turkmenistan, Kuroda said he has a good core squad of players and he is trying to persuade the best foreign-based players to make the trip home for the qualifier.
The squad is to travel to Vietnam for a training camp from March 14 to March 23. The team is due to play a series of exhibition games in Hanoi against Vietnam’s national team.
Belgian-Taiwanese star Xavier Chen, a fans’ favorite, has expressed his desire to pull on the national shirt once again if some outstanding issues can be resolved, while naturalized Taiwanese striker Onur Dogan, originally from Turkey, has also made himself available for national duty, CTFA officials said.
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