world cup

JFA boss praises Japan's 'fair play' in Poland game

34 Comments
By Alastair Himmer

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34 Comments
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Huh, and here I was thinking the 'Japan Way' was to always try your best and play to the best of your abilities to the very last tick of the clock with a samurai spirit... not to game the system dishonorably and use some loophole in the rules to skate by while accepting a defeat from a team that, a mere 24 hours prior, you had said you were going to do your best to defeat.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I get it. So these are just empty words and pretense:

"Samurai Blue" is a catchphrase thought up by the Japan Football Association (JFA) ... The phrase combines the word for Japan's ancient warriors, samurai, which has become widely known around the world through such media as the movie Last Samurai, with the color of Japan's national team shirts, blue. "Samurai Blue" has connotations of battling with pride, a sense of fair play, and a strong desire for victory. 

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Fair play is always welcome and I think it was a good way to break ties rather than a coin-toss. That being said, having your team to not try to tie the game ( where you have control over the situation) and toss your chances into the wind and hope Senegal does not score is a poor example of soccer decision making. It worked out in the end but it was a very embarrassing performance and a new low in strategy to get to the knock-out round. Also ,not to mention sitting down so many starters and goal scorers in a game where you needed just a point to advance is bizarre. This was a game that would decide whether you passed through !! Finally, firing your coach just a few weeks before the World Cup and installing a new coach was also a huge mistake and failure of the National Soccer organization. The replacement they hired is not up to the task.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Wasn't fair for the fans who paid money to watch a soccer game.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Wasn't fair for the fans who paid money to watch a soccer game.

People paying good money to watch games are becoming more and more irrelevant in tournaments like this.

Get ready for 4 quarters and deluges of commercial breaks at World Cups in our lifetimes.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Not sure why there is 'rage'. The rules were established before this World Cup; they can be changed afterwards if the powers that be determine they should be.

The bottom line is that Japan moves on. Simple. What happens on Monday will determine if they deserved to move on or not. So let's wait, rage less, drink more beer.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"and we move on". Yeah, me too. I have no further interest in this disgrace of a football team and its association. The Japan Way - lesson learnt.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Little surprise in seeing Tashima and Kawabuchi lining up to defend Nishino's tactics. Tashima, the ultimate FIFA insider and gravy-train rider extraordinaire, fired Halidhodzic and must have been sweating bullets as the clock ticked down; elimination for Japan would have brought him massive criticism and an end to his very pleasant and lucrative football life.

People paying good money to watch games are becoming more and more irrelevant in tournaments like this.

Get ready for 4 quarters and deluges of commercial breaks at World Cups in our lifetimes.

Yes, sadly this is true. The European Championships 2020 has been turned into a farcical caravan dragging around Europe while the WC from 2026 will be an equally horrible mess.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Of course they do, in the face of their cowardice, and the fact that Nishino himself has now apologized for the way they played since the booing continues, what else is Japan going to do? admit they made a mistake? haha.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan did just make an extra 4 million dollars by making it out of the group stage. I think that brings the total so far to about 12 million dollars.  I am sure the money is not what they were thinking about but getting to the next round was important.  Almost any good team can win on any given day.  The strategy of resting his key players for the next round, might make the difference.  Obviously, I am hoping Japan will have a miracle game again.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It seems that Japan got a good luck by using fair play score. Enjoy next game.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yet it was alright for England to deliberately lose to Belgium just so they could have an easier route to the final. Enough of this carry on about Japan! They played by the rules fair and square, while Senegal have only themselves to blame.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This was the ultimate farce game here, where each team tried to score against itself and the other team tried to prevent it. Must have been great to watch!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbados_4%E2%80%932_Grenada_(1994_Caribbean_Cup_qualification)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

and then we had,

Thailand 3–2 Indonesia, where an Indonesian defender deliberately scored an own goal so his team did not have to face the host Vietnam in the semi-finals of the 1998 Tiger Cup.

AS Adema 149–0 SO l'Emyrne, where SO l'Emyrne players deliberately scored 149 own goals in protest of refereeing decisions that had gone against them in the previous match.

Disgrace of Gijón, where a 1982 World Cup game between West Germany and Austria was played out as a mutually agreeable 1–0 win to West Germany as this result ensured both teams qualified for the next round.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In what way was the Japanese tactic worse than all the histrionics, diving, shirt-pulling, and ankle-hacking indulged in by other teams?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In what way was the Japanese tactic worse than all the histrionics, diving, shirt-pulling, and ankle-hacking indulged in by other teams?

Perhaps it wasn’t, but most people slam the behaviour you mentioned.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not when Neymar was the victim, they didn't. Although they did slam his acting.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Although they did slam his acting.

Including the referee of that game, who gave Neymar a yellow card for simulation. Neymar threw himself to the ground inside the penalty box in a clear attempt to fool the referee into giving a penalty. Neymar broke the rules and got punished; Japan took advantage of the rules but was criticised for not following the spirit of the game.

Yet it was alright for England to deliberately lose to Belgium

Where's the proof they deliberately lost? Who said it was acceptable to throw a game?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sensei in japan: "I am sure the money is not what they were thinking about but getting to the next round was important."

Well, it certainly wasn't honor they were thinking about, as the Blue Samurai, or reputation.

BigYen: "In what way was the Japanese tactic worse than all the histrionics, diving, shirt-pulling, and ankle-hacking indulged in by other teams?"

In what way was it better is what you should be asking yourself if defending Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yet it was alright for England to deliberately lose to Belgium

I didn’t see any evidence of that. I did see two under strength teams playing a game of football.

You can make the point that people who bought tickets were short changed.

Anyway, why are you constantly talking about England? There are 15 other teams left to hate. Share the hatred around a little.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"In what way was the Japanese tactic worse than all the histrionics, diving, shirt-pulling, and ankle-hacking indulged in by other teams?"In what way was it better is what you should be asking yourself if defending Japan.

Because in my opinion all the histrionics, diving, shirt-pulling and ankle hacking threaten the game more as a fair sporting contest and as a spectacle than Japan's five minutes of time-wasting could ever do.

I do accept, though, that going through on the basis of the "fair play" rule by not exactly "playing fairly" does have its contradictions.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan's five minutes of time-wasting

Five minutes? Quite a bit longer than 5 minutes.

Come on, let’s keep the discussion honest. Fair play and all that ;)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Get over it already! They made it to the Round of 16 which they weren't expected to and the tactic obviously worked. All of you can boycott the team and root against them in the next game if you want. Just to let you know, I'll be wearing by Keisuke Honda jersey, backwards New Era Samurai Blue cap and JFA wristbands proudly during their game vs. Belgium. If they lose, I will congratulate them on a job well done and not whine that they deserved it like many here will. Thanks for downvotes in advance.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just checked the Japanese time wasting which lasted for more than 10 minutes that in itself should be a yellow card. A job done just not very well.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

DaDude: "Get over it already!"

Sorry, bud. Japan has stained its integrity and the event with its actions. No one is getting over it, much as you want people to forget history.

"Just to let you know, I'll be wearing by Keisuke Honda jersey"

The self-aggrandizer? Fitting, I'm sure.

"If they lose, I will congratulate them on a job well done"

But they haven't done a good job for the most part, and in fact have brought shame upon themselves.

"Thanks for downvotes in advance."

Well-earned, as you knew they would be.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Come on, let’s keep the discussion honest. Fair play and all that ;)

Well then, to keep the discussion honest, I'll remind you that I said "no worse than" the other tactics I mentioned. Nowhere do I say that I approved of it.

To be clear, I would've preferred that Japan hadn't used that tactic to get through. But I just cannot agree that (OK) 10 minutes of time-wasting is a more serious offence against the game than the negative tactics employed by many teams in order to stifle the more creative players in the game - tactics which were precisely the reason why those teams copped more yellow cards than Japan did.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I find it highly amusing that the JFA chief is backing up the decision made by the manager, it is without a doubt that had Senegal got their equaliser knocking Japan out of the competition he would have been first in line calling for the managers head.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ive missed my daily dosage of American Football late tackle propaganda and Otani Heroics, I wonder If I'll get clock winding down tomfoolery for breakfast Monday morning...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@smithinjapan

Get over it its been two days since the match ended. I'm sure you wouldn't have the same reaction and bitterness if another country copied what Japan did. They played by the rules and didn't cheat. If you want to direct your anger at someone, blame FIFA.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Get over it already! They made it to the Round of 16 which they weren't expected to and the tactic obviously worked. All of you can boycott the team and root against them in the next game if you want. 

Well one poster will never get over it since his country couldn't make it past the knock out stage. Japan passed through not by skills at all, not on all 3 games. People will criticize the tactic but in the end, Nishino made the right call which allowed Japan to advance. If the outcome was different, there will also be criticism of his tactic. Hindsight is 20/20 but it was a huge gamble that paid off. I'm pretty certain that the previous coach would have crashed Japan out of the world cup just as bad as Korea but without any redeeming games to exit.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I understand why Japan did what they did. Pragmatism over passion. However, what I can't figure out is why the Poles went along with it. They totally acquiesced and made NO attempt to play real soccer while Japan was playing hide-the-ball. Where was Polish Pride?

I'm no fan of how South Korea plays, but at least they showed guts and pride in their final match, even though it meant nothing in terms of the final standings.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I get the impression half of people commenting here don't even understand football.

You can flaunt your feelings all you want, what they did was what needed to be done.

What happened to Serbia when they pressed the attack against Switzerland in last minutes? They conceded a goal and lost the game. That happens more easily than you think when you break your formation - something that players work hard to avoid, but those oblivious to football will never notice.

Who cares if you were not entertained? The result is what goes down in history. Wins get the money to football association which helps finance youth football, not losses.

Poland had a say in the matter too. They could have pressed the attack but they didn't want to risk equalizing goal because they wanted to save the little face they had left, yet they don't suffer any critique. Not that anyone should.

Everyone played by the rules. Senegal had its fate in their own hands, and they failed to grasp it, Japan didn't. That's all there is to it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sorry, bud. Japan has stained its integrity and the event with its actions. No one is getting over it, much as you want people to forget history.

I'd rather listen to an opinion from someone else actually, not a person that has hated Japan's team from the start. They win, you fault the other team or say Japan was lucky. They lose, you say that you knew all along they were garbage. Girl, you know its true like Milli Vanilli.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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