Blind football in Japan has been given a significant boost ©JBFA

The Japan Blind Football Association (JBFA) and the International Blind Football Foundation (IBFF) have signed a 10-year sponsorship deal with Santen Pharmaceutical.

The Japanese company has signed on with the two organisations to "achieve long-term stability for sports management in blind football for the advancement of diversity and inclusion".

Santen, whose products are sold in more than 50 countries, had penned a partnership agreement with the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) to promote blind sports earlier this year.

"We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Santen for its support in various ways, including sponsoring various international competitions and cooperating with the 'Help Consultation Counter'," said JBFA President Shiro Shiojima.

"We are very excited to see the beginning of this innovative alliance to develop blind football together over the next 10 years. 

"We sincerely hope that this partnership will be the cornerstone for the cultural integration of not only blind football but also Para sports as a whole."

The sponsorship deal is aimed at helping the development of blind football ©IBSA
The sponsorship deal is aimed at helping the development of blind football ©IBSA

The IBFF, which works with organisations including IBSA to support blind football across the world, has also welcomed the deal.

"Through blind football, this partnership will look to promote the sport and solve societal issues related to vision," said IBFF representative director Eigo Matsuzaki

"Another big characteristic of this partnership is that its vision is a global one and isn't limited to Japan. 

"Having drawn this 10-year contract, we are excited by the possibilities it brings in terms of the wide range of mid-to-long-term activities we can take part in. 

"We would like to thank everyone's efforts to reach this point."