Japan has escaped FIFA censure after the coach of the women’s football team admitted hseeking to avoid a result which would have meant his team playing their Olympic quarter final in Glasgow.
Japan’s 0-0 draw with South Africa in Cardiff ensured that they finished behind Sweden in their group, and will now meet Brazil in the same city rather than travelling up to Scotland. After the game, coach Norio Sasaki told journalists he had instructed his players to keep the ball rather than press for a winner
“It was a different way of playing compared to the usual game, but the players were on the same page as me,” he said. “I feel sorry we couldn’t show a respectable game, but it’s my responsibility, not the players, why [it had to be] like that. It was important for us not to move to Glasgow.”
‘The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, has reviewed comments made by Japan’s women’s head coach Norio Sasaki at the post-match press conference, following the conclusion of their Group F match against South Africa in Cardiff,’ the association said in a statement. ‘Following this analysis, there are no sufficient elements to start disciplinary proceedings.’