By JACK AMI
A Japanese father surprised his daughter when he arrived in Port Moresby on Tuesday to witness her playing her first game yesterday against Spain in the Under-20 women’s soccer World Cup at the Bava Park.
Mizutani, in an interview with The National at Bava Park, said his daughter Yuki did not know that he flew in from London to watch her play against Spain before returning to the United Kingdom.
Yuki was pleased to see her father and spent time talking and sharing a laugh briefly after training.
In typical understated Japanese fashion, Yuki chatted politely with her father and explained her gratitude afterward.
There were no tears or outward emotion but a smile and a strong sense of family and a clear bond between father and daughter.
The smiles were the give away.
Mizutani thanked the coach and the team for allowing him time with his daughter and said that watching her play would be worth it. “I journeyed non-stop for more than 36 hours to be here to watch Yuki play because soccer is a big part of her life,” Mizutani said.
“This was an important match against Spain and I wanted to watch her in action. My presence here is to give her moral support but as her father I’m glad to see her again.”
Mizutani watched Japan lose to Spain 1-0 yesterday in a highly competitive contest between the two sides although Japan did have more clear opportunities to score.
He returns to the UK today.
By JACK AMI