soccer

Urawa plays in empty stadium after racist sign

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Good for them. At least they take these things seriously compared to organizations like FIFA.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Urawa president Keizo Fuchita has said it was a warning to foreign visitors to stay away from the “sacred ground” at Saitama Stadium, a 2002 World Cup semi-final venue.

Ok then every foreigner should boycott this team and anything ever to do with its manager, president, team or players and have nothing to do with them or anything they support or are sponsored by, and I hope this Keizo dick head dude never travels overseas.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I don't think the players have a strong opinion, very few fans do and some of the management. So many foreign players and some sports coaches in Japan and a few Japanese players overseas, just a few zealous fans living in a bubble that should be banded for as long as it takes to see they give a few meaningful deep bows.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

StormR, that sentence you quoted does look ripe for misunderstanding, but I think the president was simply stating the facts of the case rather than endorsing what happened.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Urawa president Keizo Fuchita has said it was a warning

AFP, JT or somebody left out that Fuchita said that "I heard that the banner was..." (as is included in Japanese sources). I really don't think the team itself would make a sloppy hand-panited sign like that.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Typical "soccer" - much ado about a match which no one wins.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

These racial bigots should be bent over and the banner in question inserted where 'sun doesn't shine'...then banned from every ground, stamp it out, make examples. Dont let the few ruin the beautiful game.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm glad that we've finally seen some movement on controversial topics such as racism and the environment...Basically the Japanese are NOT "racists"! Though once in a while it does happen. But, they are childish and far too shy. And their excuse for not sitting next to a foreigner on the train is "absurd"... "Oh, I'm afraid the 外人 will speak to me!". Not (In most cases)! A terrible stupid excuse...いいわけ! I won't even speak to a Japanese sitting next to me reading an English book or newspaper. If someone says "hello" or "How are you" (日本語もう) to me, I'll be polite and talk to them. Who put these kinds of thoughts into their minds? Who teaches them these things? So grow up Japan. Japan is hardly an America when it comes to racism.

-11 ( +2 / -12 )

Why punish the players when the fans are the ones who need the punishment?! In any case, typically soccer fans who have already lost too many of their grey cells due to too much beer intake!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I think we should applaud the J-league and Urawa Reds for these actions in response to a few xenophobic racists. No one is making excuses. They're not ignoring the problem or trying to divert attention away from it. Quite the opposite in fact.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is believed that the "Japanese Only" sign was directed at Lee Tadanari, a Japanese born Japanese player (4th generation Japanese of Korean descent).

I wonder how many generations must pass in the Japanese ultra-nationalists' eyes before someone of Korean descent can be accepted as Japanese. It seems 4 generations (approx. 100 years) is not enough. Perhaps 200 years then? Or is someone of Korean descent forever tainted even after 500 years in their eyes?

Well done to the JFA for this swift and drastic action. It made the news around the world, even here in Australia where people scratched their heads because the only Japan most Australians know is the ultra-cool, modern, quirky Japan. The ultra-nationalists whose aim is to glorify Japan is ironically doing a LOT of damage for Japan's international image.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@xrc: Either you are being sarcastic or are really poor at being a Japan apologist. What these fans did was neither shy nor childish. The fact that the racism is so deeply embedded here in Japan, as to make the racist actions by Japanese seem like naivete, shyness, or childishness shows how much racism is an actually much bigger problem here than in America. The J League should take this further. They should identify the culprits, then ban them from all Japanese soccer events fit life, including overseas games. Take down there details and hold their passports when games involving Japanese teams are being played outside the country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Soccer...pffftt!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It is believed that the "Japanese Only" sign was directed at Lee Tadanari, a Japanese born Japanese player (4th generation Japanese of Korean descent)...................................................................

By who? The banner was in a corridor within the stadium which led to the "sacred ground" for some half-wit supporters at one end of the field. It was not facing the ground.

NHK News7 spent a good five minutes on this tonight. The actions of a few morons have produced a lot of good vis-a-vis anti-racism in Japan, much to their chagrin I imagine.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The important thing was that there were repercussions right? I love how you are able to speak for all Japanese people. Don't pretend racism doesn't exist in Korea, doing so makes your argument invalid.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

From a business perspective, Urawa handled this situation pretty well. They do not want their reputation sullied by a few extreme fans.

@xrc:

Japan is hardly an America when it comes to racism.

Every country has a certain segment of their population that feel animus towards people different from themselves. America has a lot more experience with racial integration than does Japan for the simple reason that their are many more people of different races in that country than in Japan. Regardless, I think that the Urawa organization has learned from the experiences of teams in other countries and the damage to their image that can occur should this type of fan behavior become a chronic problem. I think that it would be great if foreign fans attended more games to reward the team for it's serious and very costly response to this incident.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The club has also indefinitely locked out all members of the supporters’ group responsible for the banner

This is good, and goes beyond what was imposed on the club from the J.League authorities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So basically, you admit that Korean media can get carried away and it is forgivable. When Japan does it, it is like the coming of Satan. I see the flawless logic there...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Richard Bates 'kick it out', produces inspired presentations and Q & A's, without resorting to righteous condescending pious country focused flatulence. England FA has for decades engaged in having to tackle all footy's bone headed dysfunctional single celled simpletons. Urawa Red Diamonds you are not alone.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/diversity/2012/07/kick-racism-out-of-football-diversity-in-sport/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a joke and so typical japanese over reaction. I am a non japanese Reds supporter and know more than most of you about the "Banner Gate". It was stupid to put the banner and the ones who put it were caught and punished (stadium ban for life!!!, that's harder than you get for serious crime) The decission from Urawa to ban all flags and banners at the stadium is just stupid. It is also collective punishment. Japan needs a honest and serious discussion about racism in this country but the whole reaction shown by J-League and Urawa shows that this will not happen. It had nothing to do with Lee, but it was put at the entrance of the Ultra Block because in the past some non japanese Reds supporters didn't follow the rules of the Ultra Supporters. That's what's all behind this "BIG" Story. It was not intend to be racist but it was understood this way.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This quite radical punishment has to be done because the last thing the J.League wants to be associated with are the violent and blatantly racist Ultra fans you see in the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A. Just ask Serie A star Mario Balotelli, one of the world's best players and born to parents who immigrated from Ghana, how racism is a huge problem in European football; do we need a repeat of that in Japan?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just ask Serie A star Mario Balotelli, one of the world's best players and born to parents who immigrated from Ghana, how racism is a huge problem in European football; do we need a repeat of that in Japan?>

If you remove the word 'Europe' and replace that with 'Italy', that would be a much more accurate statement.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Fandango, the problem is very prevalent throughout Europe--not just in Italy. Ask Didier Drogba how well he was treated by opposing fans when he played for Chelsea in the English Premier League for seven seasons.

In short, J.League needs to put a stop to this very issue now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

S-Pulse’s American-Iranian manager Afshin Ghotbi, himself the target of racist abuse when Jubilo Iwata fans held up a banner telling him to “stop making nuclear bombs” in 2011...

"Stop making nuclear bombs" is a racist statement? While I find it inappropriate for groups to take advantage of venues and events to disrupt for the purpose of advertising their own political views(for example, the Academy Awards program), It seems there is a lot of confusion over racism vs nationality vs ethnicity vs political views. It's likely compounded by the different languages and translations. When people hold up signs regarding Obama, is that automatically racist, too? Are all the people in Okinawa racist because they don't want the U.S. there? Is every "Japanese Only" bar and club shut down by regulators?

Unfortunately "racism" has become the scapegoat of our era. Disagree with anyone's or any group's view and you will be branded a "racist" precisely because today we ARE so interrelated.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is reality. Racism has been a growing problem in the world for a long time. Racism has a very long history. The real truth of the matter is that it is evident everywhere. Racism can be any combination of one race believing they are superior to another. In the end Racism and Discrimination exist everywhere. It is only the degree that changes. The ignorant and those of low intellectual ability are unable to suppress their animal instinct to be suspicious of anyone who is different.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

By who? The banner was in a corridor within the stadium which led to the "sacred ground" for some half-wit supporters at one end of the field. It was not facing the ground.

@Daijoboots - By whom? Just about every news source I've read. It's speculation of course, and only the perpetrators know the answer.

Many observers of Japanese football have speculated that the sign targeted South Korean-born striker Tadanari Lee, a new signing this season. Lee also holds Japanese citizenship.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hV7E-vHsQ4gJCADN7He17w6VuB5g?docId=af0b309d-06a8-4db0-bf76-e015f41f2402

The fans displayed a "Japanese only" banner and booed their own player Lee Tadanari. Just a coincidence? Perhaps, but one could be forgiven for thinking there was a link.

The most disturbing theory explaining the incident is that the banner was a statement of Japanese nationalism. An article in the Huffington Post Japan (in Japanese) cited an interview with Sagara Sumitomo, the retired call leader of an ultra fan group, in which he notes that "the ultras don't like Korea." The article also points to booing directed at recent Urawa acquisition Lee Tadanari, a Japanese national team player of Korean ethnicity.

http://www.nippon.com/en/nipponblog/m00019/

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ask Didier Drogba how well he was treated by opposing fans when he played for Chelsea in the English Premier League for seven seasons.

I don't recall Drogba being racially abused in England (only by fans of Turkish team Fenerbahce at a Champions league game). Link please.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I tend to agree with the "nationalism" speculation because I don't consider Japanese a "race", per se. The majority of western texts identify "Japanese" as a subdivision of the Mongolian race. Some texts identify "Japanese" as an ethnicity and others identify it as a nationality. To me, the Japanese people were so homogeneous for so long that the two are nearly synonymous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am no insider so I have no information but I speculate what Andreas speaks of is the closest to the truth. The theme was outlined in a manga "Giant Killing" when old fans did it their ways which stroke hard core fans the wrong way resulting to a fight between the two groups.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hi Jojotoday,

I am a newbie contributor to Japan, so unsure of etiquette.

The incident dates back to FA cup semi final fixture with Tottenham, on 15 April 2012, the 55 year old man was dealt with appropriately...

" Fitzwater admitted racially aggravated abuse at the court hearing and he was also given a three-year football banning order preventing him from attending any regulated football match in the UK or abroad".....

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-17933326

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good job rockandroll. You'll find out there's not much etiquette on this board so don't worry about that. Haha. Well, that's one in 7 premier league seasons. Do you know of any more? The original poster made it sound like a regular occurrence.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think we should applaud the J-league and Urawa Reds for these actions in response to a few xenophobic racists. No one is making excuses. They're not ignoring the problem or trying to divert attention away from it. Quite the opposite in fact.

Well done to the JFA for this swift and drastic action. It made the news around the world, even here in Australia...

They only dealt with the issue AFTER it went global and made the news outside of Japan. It took DAYS for it to even be mentioned on the news here. Sorry but they actually dragged their heels. When it was first reported, they questioned if it was actually "discrimination". It wasn't until AFTER they realised how bad this was looking abroad that they did anything. They certainly did try and ignore it and divert attention from it. Sadly, took them days to understand that Twitter and Facebook weren't going to allow this to go away. And frankly, how many times do fans from one team need to be punished for crap behaviour? Let's not forget this isn't the first incident with them - and don't forget the brawl either.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Cheers jojotoday,

Incidents like the quoted example are rare, for the PL clubs to attract world class quality players requires a zero tolerance approach. My Father is a Arsenal season ticket holder and insists the prejudice experienced in the 1970's is long gone.

I had second thoughts about posting the link because of presenting the wrong connotations of the premiership.

Football statisticians Opta produced a 'State of the Game' study for BBC Sport, the interactive map within link is remarkable.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/24467371

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ask Didier Drogba how well he was treated by opposing fans when he played for Chelsea in the English Premier League for seven seasons>

How do you know the abuse he recieved was racially motivated? psst you can't.

He did get dog's abuse for theatrical dives and general play-acting though. Hope that helps :-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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