Sky Perfect TV to Show Japan Women's Soccer League Live Following World Cup Win

3:57 AM PST 07/22/2011 by Gavin J. Blair
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Surge of interest and sponsorship in game since victory cheered nation after disasters.

TOKYO – Sky Perfect TV is to start screening women’s domestic league soccer matches live after an explosion of interest in the game in Japan following the national team’s unexpected victory in the World Cup final last Sunday.

Japan’s biggest satellite channel will begin its coverage with this Sunday’s Plenus Nadeshiko League opener between INAC Kobe Leonessa and JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies. Captain Homare Sawa and goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori – the two heroes of last weekend’s victory over the U.S. – both play for the Kobe side.

Ticket sales for the Japan Women's Football League are up by over 1000% for the new season at some clubs – albeit from very low levels – in the afterglow of the World Cup triumph.

Companies have also been reportedly lining up to offer sponsorship for the previously cash-strapped semi-pro clubs. The firms, and Sky Perfect TV, are keen to latch on to the feel-good factor that the World Cup win has created as the first bit of good news since the March 11 disasters.

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