Saburo Kawabuchi to speak on Asia's leagues

Captain Saburo Kawabuchi, Chairman of the Asian Football Confederation's Professional League Committee and President of the Japan Football Association will deliver a speech on the ‘Future of Professional Football in Asia’ on 8 May 2007 at the JW Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, immediately following the 22nd AFC Congress. In his speech on the current status of leagues in Asia and their aspirations of going professionalism. Kawabuchi will draw on his experience of turning around the J-League from a semi-professional league into the immensely successful and viable commercial model it is today.

The visionary Kawabuchi, who is credited with the spectacular rise and spread of football in Japan and is serving his third term as JFA President, was awarded AFC’s prestigious Diamond of Asia award in 2005 and is also a FIFA Order of Merit holder. It is due to Kawabuchi’s tireless efforts that the JFA today is recognised as the model association in Asia. Women’s football and futsal have also made rapid strides under his charge and established Japan as a power to reckon with not only in the continent but also worldwide.