The victory of Japan over USA in the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup was a highly significant event in Asian football.

The victory over USA, the super power of women’s football, was as much a testimony to perseverance as it was to skill.

Twice the Japanese team came from behind to draw 2-2 with a strong American team and win 3-1 in kicks from the penalty mark.

The profile of Asian football has again been raised on the world stage.

“This is a great day for Asian football,” said AFC Senior Vice-President Zhang Jilong.

“The ‘Nadeshiko’ have made us all immensely proud. They have shown what is possible if one has the resolve, determination and persistence.”

The Senior AFC Vice-President called upon AFC’s Member Associations to follow Japan’s example.

“This is the biggest possible boost to women’s football in our continent and other Member Associations should try to emulate Japan’s example,” added Jilong.

Make no mistake, AFC can be immensely proud of the performance of the new FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, as it was with the performance of its refereeing officials in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010 and the progress of Japan in the same competition.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the victory the “greatest gift” to the nation, especially to the residents of the northeast coast most devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.”

A nation reeling from months of tragedy has been united in joyous celebration after a team nicknamed “Nadeshiko” — for a pink mountain flower — became the first from Asia to win the biggest prize in women’s football.

Yes, the Future is Asia – and there is more to come!

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