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Japan Blind Football Association and International Blind Football Foundation announce major sponsorship agreement

Date: November 5, 2020

Category: Football

The Japan Blind Football Association (JBFA) and the International Blind Football Foundation (IBF Foundation) sign long-term deal with Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

The three parties sealed the ten-year partnership last month and have begun working on their shared vision of bringing down the walls between those who can see and those who can't, turning society into a stage on which anyone can shine and achieving a fully inclusive society through the values of blind football.

The innovative, 10-year partnership agreement also aims to achieve long-term stability for sports management in blind football for the advancement of diversity and inclusion, and comes just three months after IBSA and Santen announced a partnership agreement to promote blind sports in general.

JBFA and IBF Foundation are making various efforts to improve the quality of life of visually impaired people, and in 2019 Santen collaborated in support of the IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships in Thailand with an aim to popularize blind football in the country and more widely, raise public awareness of vision impairment, improve people's quality of life and build a society in which everyone can lead fulfilling lives regardless of visual impairment.

With this year marking the 130th anniversary of Santen's founding, the company has drawn up a new long-term vision and set three long-term strategies for realizing its “WORLD VISION – Happiness with Vision, the ideal world Santen aims for. Its partnership with JBFA and IBF Foundation is positioned as an important action in "Inclusion", one of these three strategies.

Via the partnership agreement, the parties will also support the principle of ‘Leaving no one behind’, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and hope to contribute to reaching the 17 SDGs by 2030.

Caption: Japan celebrates scoring a goal.

The three parties involved welcomed the announcement, with Shiro Shiojima, President of the Japan Blind Football Association, stating “we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Santen for its support in various ways, including sponsoring various international competitions and cooperating with the ‘Help Consultation Counter’. We are very excited to see the beginning of this innovative alliance to develop blind football together over the next 10 years. We sincerely hope that this partnership will be the cornerstone for the cultural integration of not only blind football but also parasports as a whole.”

IBF Foundation representative director Eigo Matsuzaki added: “Through blind football, this partnership will look to promote the sport and solve societal issues related to vision. Another big characteristic of this partnership is that its vision is a global one and isn't limited to Japan. Having drawn this 10-year contract, we are excited by the possibilities it brings in terms of the wide range of mid-to-long-term activities we can take part in. We would like to thank everyone's efforts to reach this point.”

Speaking on behalf of Santen, Shigeo Taniuchi, president and CEO, hailed the partnership and said: “There are many issues surrounding the visually impaired. These include how the world is built on the premise that we can see, how there are few employment options and how there are lasting unconscious biases. This long-term partnership agreement could be seen as the first step towards the realization of our ideal WORLD VISION. Using blind football as the starting point, we will solve societal issues and build a world in which both the sighted and the visually impaired can interact and live in the same manner. We also intend to expand this partnership to a global scale.”

Caption: IBF Foundation logo.

Link to full press release and further information.

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