A segment of fans targeted Japanese players with laser lights
Japanese football chiefs said on Thursday they had lodged a formal complaint with the world governing body FIFA and Asian authorities after their players were allegedly targeted by lasers during the 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Jordan.
“We filed a complaint with both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation about it. We are not sure if we will receive any answer from them,” said a Japan Football Association (JFA) official.
JFA president Kuniya Daini told reporters late on Wednesday he had been appalled by the actions of a minority of home fans at the game in Amman on Tuesday, when Jordan shocked the Blue Samurai.
“I hope such a thing will never happen again,” he said.
“During the break at half-time an announcement was made on the stadium speaker system warning fans not to use laser pointers.”
Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and midfielder Yasuhito Endo had the intense light beams – which can cause eye damage – directed at them.
Endo, who missed a penalty that could have given Japan the draw they needed to book a place at the World Cup finals, insisted he had not been distracted, but said players had been bothered by lasers throughout the game.
Kawashima said he had been targeted when preparing to defend a corner moments before one of the Jordan goals.
“I tried not to be distracted, but the lights were shone even when we didn’t have the ball,” he said. But he added, “In World Cup qualifying, we need to win under any circumstances regardless of lasers.”
Jordanian football chiefs denied the claims. “Personally, I am surprised at these accusations,” Jordan Football Association vice-president Salah Sabra said on Wednesday.
“We did not hear or notice anything about laser. The Japanese players themselves did not complain during or after the match yesterday.”
No one from FIFA was immediately available for comment.AFP