Turmoil in Japan’s football program

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Turmoil in Japan’s football program

TOKYO - Japan’s football stars are considering boycotting international matches unless the national association improves bonuses and other conditions, a Japanese daily newspaper said Saturday.

Lawyers for the Japan Football Association and the Japan Pro-Footballers Association have been negotiating without progress on players’ demands, the Nikkan Sports said.

The football association has yet to give a “concrete answer” to the demands, which were in place before this year’s World Cup in South Africa, JPFA lawyer Taisuke Matsumoto told the daily. “We must think about our next move.”

Matsumoto said the players cannot walk out on World Cup qualifiers and other official tournaments. But the daily said it is highly possible that they would boycott international friendlies.

The lawyer is to hold a meeting with the players on Dec. 27 to discuss their next move when they start a training camp for the Jan. 7-29 Asian Cup in Qatar, the Nikkan Sports said.

They are also seeking salary guarantees for injuries sustained in international events, as well as their image rights.

Japan’s players are paid no appearance money, but are given a daily allowance of 10,000 yen ($120) for taking part in an international game. A win or draw gives them a bonus payment, which is decided based on the ranking of their opponents.

The bonus was 150,000 yen each for their 1-0 friendly win over Paraguay on Sept. 4 and 200,000 yen for the historic 1-0 upset of powerhouse Argentina on Oct. 8, the daily said.

“The FA hasn’t changed the amount of payment since the 2002 World Cup,” an anonymous veteran was quoted by the daily as saying.

“Of course, everyone tries to work hard for the country and themselves. But everyone is a professional and they are staking their life on every match. I want the football association to rate us as other countries [rate their players].”


AFP

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