First Deaf soccer league held in Otaru, Hokkaido

Deaf soccer players play aggressively at the first Deaf soccer league in Otaru. (photo:

The first Hokkaido Summer Soccer League for the Deaf was opened at the Hokkaido High School for the Deaf located in Otaru City on June 27 to enhance the local soccer activities.

The three teams of 50 members in total, consisted of adults, high school students and alumni, participated in the soccer event, and played aggressively basking in sunlight.

The Deaf soccer population in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan is on the decrease according to the Hokkaido Deaf Soccer Society though there are no exact statistics. The reason for the decrease might be that the Deaf youth tend to move out of the city to get a job in a populous city.

Takashi Sato from Chitose City, the president of the Japanese Soccer Society for the Deaf, said, "A large crowd of spectators will be encouraging." Another event may be planned in the future.

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