Several players attending the football Club World Cup in Japan expressed consideration and admiration for the Japanese people who were affected by the natural disasters which struck Japan in March.
Santos striker Borges said that, in his opinion, “the way the Japanese people have reacted to such terrible natural tragedies this year just showcases what kind of country this is”.
Abdulah Koni, the star of Asian champions Al-Sadd, said that he comes from Senegal and remembers how Japan helped his country when it was in trouble, during the 2005 flooding.
Japan helped Senegal with emergency assistance when floods affected hundreds of thousands people in the West African country.
"I’d like to give something in return and will do as much as I can on the pitch to achieve that," Koni said.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that the tournament was held in Japan in order to help the country recover faster and dismissed concerns over radiation. "There were some voices saying how can you play in a country that has been affected? They didn’t speak so much about the tsunami but they spoke about radiation”, Blatter said.
During the tournament, which is organized once a year, continental champions clash to establish the best club team in the world. European champions FC Barcelona are joining the competition on Thursday, for the semi-final match against Qatari club Al-Sadd.