February 08, 2011 11:18
Having retired from the national team after last month's AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, former Team Korea captain Park Ji-sung is moving on to the next stage in his career as the founder of a charitable foundation.
The JS Foundation announced on Monday that its mission is to develop and run charity programs that will spread joy and happiness through football.
"This will be a new starting point and the final destination in my football career," said Park, who is the foundation's executive director. "I want to do something meaningful through football to share with the world."
Park had been preparing to launch the foundation since last summer, and recently received the green light from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Among the charity's sponsors are notable sports figures such as Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians, Olympic weightlifting champion Jang Mi-ran, and Hur Jae, head coach of KCC Egis in Korea's professional basketball league, as well as entertainment celebrities including actor Jung Jun-ho and singer Kim Heung-gook.
As its first project, the foundation will hold a charity football tournament called the Asian Dream Cup in Vietnam on June 15. It will feature top football stars from Korea and overseas, such as Lee Chung-yong of Bolton Wanderers, Ki Sung-yueng of Glasgow Celtics, Park's Manchester United teammate Patrice Evra of France, and retired Japanese star Hidetoshi Nakata.
"We want to promote football in Southeast Asia through various projects in cooperation with football associations there," the foundation said.
Vietnam was chosen as the venue for the foundation's first project thanks to active support from the country's football association as well as the high popularity of Manchester United and Park there.
Other projects in the works include fundraising events and setting up scholarships for promising young football players.
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