Toyota, 18 July 2022 (TDI): The Chinese men’s and women’s football teams have arrived in Japan to participate in the East Asia Football Championship between July 20 to July 27.

In April 2022, the speculation regarding the host of the championship came to a halt. Japan was named the host of the East Asian Football Championship.

Earlier, China’s Du Zhaocai, Deputy Minister of China’s State General Administration of Sport, was elected as the President of the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) at the 10th EAFF Congress in Doha.

Moreover, ahead of the upcoming matches, the Chinese Women’s Football Team’s coach Shui Qingxia was quoted as saying that “the most important thing is to look for our shortcomings through training and improve through matches.”

“The results in the Asian Cup showed that the Chinese women’s football team is capable of beating any opponent. But you should conquer yourself first and then you can get a good result,” Shui said.

Geopolitics and China-Japan Football Rivalry

China and Japan share a long history of conflicts of a geographic, geopolitical, and geostrategic nature. Henceforth, China and Japan’s historic rivalry has been translated into the China-Japan football rivalry.

Here, it must also be mentioned that diplomatic tensions surmounted between China and Japan in the wake of the assassination of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former Prime Minister.

Nevertheless, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolences on the sudden assassination of the Japanese Premier, on July 9.

Additionally, he said that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made efforts to improve China-Japan relations when he was in office and contributed positively to this endeavor.

Moreover, the importance of the EAFF Championship can also be measured given the current state of the relationship between Japan and China amid Japan’s diplomatic and strategic alliance with the United States; a key China rival in the major power’s competition.