When you talk about football and Japan in the same breath, the first name that will come will be Keisuke Honda. The Japanese football ace has on Friday evening arrived in Uganda.
Honda arrived in the country accompanied with fellow footballer and former teammate at Italian Serie A side AC Milan, Sulley Muntari with the intention of supporting the youth through football.
The Japanese ace who is a United Nations Foundation global advocate for youth in conjunction with his sports management company, Honda Estilo will establish a football school/academy to help in tapping talent.
While addressing the media at Kampala Serena Hotel, Honda indicated that the cause behind this is to address the numerous challenges that young people face especially in developing countries.
“Soccer has given me the platform to reach and engage youth worldwide in a conversation that can help shape their future. I am honored to be able to play my part in helping to tackle global issues and create a better world,” said Honda.
Honda believes Africa is cradle for talent and once the necessary support is rendered, several footballers can come out of Africa.
“Africa has produced several players who have gone to play at the highest level. I believe it is still there and that’s why we have come to Uganda. I will be happy one day to see Uganda playing at the World Cup,” he added.
United Nations Foundation communication associate, Gloria Roh believes Honda’s visit to Uganda will help two different sectors that engage with the youth directly and indirectly.
“Uganda is home to one of the world’s youngest population. A powerful force for change and as a global advocate for youth, Keisuke helps young people realize the full potential of their abilities, innovations and solutions by harnessing the transformative nature of sport,” Roh said.
“His visit will generate opportunities for all sectors to partner with Ugandan youth in solving their greatest challenges and in achieving sustainable development goals,” she said.
In some of the things that Honda plans to do is to establish a professional soccer academy in Uganda that will help in nurturing talent.
This will be Honda’s first establishment in Africa but he already has academies in China, USA, Thailand , Indonesia and Cambodia.
During his stay, Honda will hold a series of events that will engage key stakeholders in the promotion of the youth in Uganda including a visit to the Ministry of Education and Sports to discuss possible collaborations with government and sports regulatory bodies.
On Saturday, Honda will join volunteer Ugandan coaches and officials to guide over 200 children in football drills in a youth activation cup to be played at Kiira road playground in Kamwokya.
About Keisuke Honda
Keisuke Honda, born 13 June 1986) is a Japanese footballer who plays for Serie A club Milan and the Japan national football team.
A versatile player, he usually plays as an attacking midfielder, but he can equally play as a winger or as a deep-lying playmaker, and has frequently featured as a right winger for Milan during the 2014–15 Serie A season.
A quick, creative, strong, and energetic player, he is also known for his accuracy from bending free-kicks, powerful striking ability from distance, dribbling skills, and delivery as a dead ball specialist.
He has earned over 60 international caps since 2008, playing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and winning the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where he was also voted Player of the Tournament.
At the moment, Honda is a free agent after his deal at AC Milan expired at the end of last season.