SOCCER

Nadeshiko Japan stuck in economy class, while men's team go business class

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  • 18

    TigersTokyoDome

    An absolute sexist disgrace. I love Japan but the Japanese just can't help but put their chauvinist foot right in it. The women are reigning world champions and one of the favourites to win gold. The men are not even in the top 10 and will not win gold. Professional and semi-professional or not.

  • 5

    JeffLee

    Isn't this what the "Nadeshiko" concept is all about? Women are expected to remain quietly in the background, as decorations, and to never compete with men.

    The Nadeshiko role is to serve and sacrifice for the good of a male-dominated society. If the women's soccer team expected to be treated as equals, then should have rejected the "Nadeshiko" nickname in the first place. It does carry some nasty cultural baggage, after all.

  • 1

    TigersTokyoDome

    I don't really see why the womens team cannot continue to be regarded as traditional Japanese women (nadeshiko) AND fly business class as world champions? They don't have to shed their womanhood just to be treated equally on a sporting level? Does this mean they have to grow beards to be treated equally?

  • 0

    tmarie

    Even just in terms of age, we are senior,

    A fine example of an attitude so rampant I hate.

    Funny, are the taxpayers not paying for this. They all should have been in the cattle car section.

    But yes, sexist. More so when the women are the world cup winners and the men....

  • 0

    Ms. Alexander

    @ TigersTokyoDome - Ditto!

  • 3

    Crystalyle

    That's pure sexist. The men will be eliminated in the first round. Nadeshiko will go on to a respectable finish.

    Next time fly ANA. They should have flown Nadeshiko in a 787 Dreamliner charter.

  • 1

    Tom Webb

    I see JAL haven't changed at all.

  • 1

    sillygirl

    that is NOT RIGHT!!!

  • 4

    Virtuoso

    Hell hath no fury like a downgraded sports celebrity.

  • 12

    hoserfella

    Last time I checked the women's team were defending World Cup champs. And the Shibuya boys? Too bad there are no trophies for most elaborate hair-dos. Sexist Japan in a nutshell; the more qualified and deserving women are forced to the back of the bus (plane).

  • 5

    Tamarama

    You might say that until the Men earn equal sporting accolades and ranking it should be THEY who are in cattle class and the World Champions get the comfy seats near the pilot. What a disgrace.

  • 5

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Ahhhh..... just more "fuel to the fire" for the Japanese women to show the men up again. Go ladies!!!

  • 5

    Maria

    Whereas the Paralympics athletes have to pay their own way, and choose to pose nude in order to make that money.

  • -5

    Alex Einz

    just rude idiots, honestly the female team should have refused to fly at all and shame Japan , its olympics after all ,and I bet Noda`s flight cost 10 times more ( when his presence absolutely not required or desired ) Generally Athlete support is terrible in Japan, no sports encouragement , no wonder most Japanese kids are fat these days.

  • 4

    Greg Demmons

    If there was any doubt that the intelligent Japanese moved to Canada and the US in the early 20th century, this story should change your mind. How stupid were the people who booked that? World champs treated this way would obviously bring media attention. Women should leave that patriarchal hole in modern history. But then again, interviewing entering students to my high school in Kyoto over the past few years and finding that half the girls in class claim their dream is to marry a rich man, while half of the remainder want to be flight attendants to meet a rich man, it is not surprising that women's place in Japsn has not changed, maybe Japanese women want to be subservient.

  • -3

    gogogo

    The airlines should fly them for free!

  • 5

    Godan

    JAL should have done the right thing and offered these young women first class all the way for all they have done on the pitch and for lifting the spirits of many over the years - especially because they aren't "professionals" like the men!! JAL - you dropped the ball on that one!

    As for the geezers in charge at the JOC - you guys truly suck!

    PS Good on the women for speaking up!

  • 4

    Godan

    PS - And it doesn't say much for the men's team that no one seems to have offered his seat to a real winner from the women's team. :-(

  • 4

    GW

    Shame shame shame on the IDIOTS at the joc!

    The men shud have been put on a vessel 4wks ago for the trip to LON!

    Women of Japan, take a good look here, clearly your own country DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OF YOU!

  • 3

    herefornow

    2012 and this is still just standard behavior in Japan. LOL.

  • 13

    Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land

    If it were up to me, the women's team would be in first class, the u-23 men in economy, and the JT mods would be in the luggage compartment.

  • 2

    LostinNagoya

    Nadeshiko are so much better in soccer, that they should be flying in the 1st class. U-23 men? Put them tied to the wings, outside.

  • 7

    Tamarama

    My Japanese wife has just pointed out that if the Japanese men's team were any kind of gentlemen they would say 'dozo' and insist the World Champs take their seat. She then cracked up and said "I've been out of Japan too long, haven't I?!"

  • -1

    daisan

    You have to consider that probably the men travel first class all the time even in domestic flights and that's most definitely not the case with the female team. Still a stupid decision if both teams were using the same plane and it would have been a nice gesture by the men to demand equal treatment.

    As for Sawa complaining about seniority I can only laugh, bet she gets some perks by being one of the older senpai.

  • -5

    combinibento

    Nadeshiko Japan stuck in economy class, while men's team go business class

    Well it's not like there's much difference between these two teams when you take a quick glance at their photos...

  • 0

    cleo

    Since they're flying out the national team, you'd perhaps expect the national airline to put them all in business as a matter of course. And upgrade medalists free of charge to first for the return journey.

  • 1

    LostinNagoya

    A little out of topic, but how are other nations flying out their athletes?

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Chartered flights for all! Let National Olympic sponsors pay.

  • -5

    Greg Demmons

    JAL could not do anything. If they had the men would have whined and stamped their feet that they had to be near girls and never used the airline again. But we should respect Japanese women's right to be subservient.

  • -1

    mitoguitarman

    Putting' 'em in there place? Sending a clear message.

  • -1

    mitoguitarman

    Their

  • -1

    alliswellinjapan

    My initial response was, how can this be?, but at second thought, figured this may have been an intented tactic to motivate the team to secure the gold medal. And I am pretty sure coach Sasaki has already communicated to the team along those lines.

  • 4

    Probie

    I hope the men enjoy it. Because they're going to get kicked all over the stadium, like every other time they play teams from outside Asia. At least the women have a chance of actually doing something. The J-men team is garbage.

  • -2

    cornbread1

    Well said alliswellinjapan...and to complete your train of thought, the Nadeshiko women will return not only with a nice medal, but in style--first class!

  • -5

    Tamarama

    I hope the men enjoy it. Because they're going to get kicked all over the stadium, like every other time they play teams from outside Asia

    Weird. I could have sworn they made it to the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup, losing on penalties to Paraguay. I seem to remember them hitting the bar and being extremely unlucky to lose that match. They appear to be FIFA rank 20, right now. Could it be that you have no idea what you are talking about?

  • 1

    davestrousers

    I have no idea why people are saying this is sexist. It says:

    The Japanese Olympic Committee allotted economy class seats to London-bound Japanese Olympians, except for physically large athletes in judo and other sports.

    So most of the athletes go economy class - both men and women. So if its anything its elitism.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    That's just lousy. Sexism, if it's a factor, is not the only factor here, of course, but there's the fact that a whole lot less money is alloted to women's soccer across the board. Now THAT may be sexism, and we can argue that another time, but the fact still remains that women's soccer is still relatively young and doesn't have the same sponsors.

    Anyway, it still stinks. Here's hoping these young ladies come home with medals on (the men won't) and the return ticket will be reversed. The better they do, the more interest builds in the sport.

  • 0

    presto345

    Definitely politically incorrect.

  • -4

    Tamarama

    Dog

    Japanese male soccer players are pussies, who care more about the color of their hair than playing soccer per excellence.

    Sir Alex Ferguson disagrees with you, Dog.

  • 1

    Probie

    Weird. I could have sworn they made it to the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup, losing on penalties to Paraguay. I seem to remember them hitting the bar and being extremely unlucky to lose that match. They appear to be FIFA rank 20, right now. Could it be that you have no idea what you are talking about?

    The under 23 team played in the 2010 World Cup, and are the team ranked 20th then? Could it be that you have no idea what you are talking about?

  • 0

    JDB829

    This may seem cliche, but only in Japan! World Cup Champs in economy?! The JOC is just not too savvy! The Nadeshiko will show them all when they return with a medal!!! Ganbarre Ladies!

  • 0

    TigersTokyoDome

    I blame the JFA for this, and they are not even the senior mens squad. They are the under 23's! All the other Olympians, including many world champions, flew economy. The mens soccer team are not even on the same level.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    They ALL should have been put in economy, or all in business. Given that, as I said, women's soccer doesn't have the same history (in terms of length) nor the sponsors, perhaps they all should have been put in economy. I don't think it was an intentional slight towards women or anything.

  • -3

    hoserfella

    JFA or JAL, national soccer federation and national carrier of the 2nd biggest economy in the world, couldn't pony up the cash to send these women business class after all the fawning over them winning the World Cup and saying how they'd inspired Japan after 3/11?? Unbelievable.

    If they were men, Japan would carry them to London on their shoulders.

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    Again Japan can't rid itself of this 19th Century sexist BS... The women, as has been said, are champions, the men aren't even runners up.

    The men should have swapped seats with the ladies... or is that showing weakness?

  • -1

    davestrousers

    They ALL should have been put in economy, or all in business.

    All the athletes or all the soccer players? The special dispensation is based on the fact that the men's soccer team consists of high-profile, full professionals. So if Serena Williams happened to be Japanese they wouldn't send her in economy.

    If you say put all the athletes in business class, I'm sure there's a good argument to be made for using that money better elsewhere to support Olympic athletes, some of which participate in sports that don't generate much money at all.

  • -2

    avigator

    Maybe a common practice in Jappastan.

  • 0

    TigersTokyoDome

    I don't think it was an intentional slight towards women or anything.

    ? The mens under 23 squad, ranked 20th in the world (and that's the full senior team, these are the under 23's) and won nothing, get put in business for a 12 hour flight. The womens squad meanwhile, current world cup winners and ranked 3rd in the world, get squeezed into economy for 12 hours. Both squads are managed by the JFA and you're telling me that not for one moment did the JFA, or the mens squad, think that there was a conflict?

    Given that, as I said, women's soccer doesn't have the same history (in terms of length) nor the sponsors

    So, using that very same argument, shall we excuse the lack of women at executive level in the board room down to a lack of history and sponsorship of women in the board room?

  • 0

    TigersTokyoDome

    I keep reading this article and finding it even more insulting. They were all on the same flight, with the under 23's up front and the world champions watching them from cattle class!!

  • -1

    ADK99

    I think the line "The Japan Football Association has helped change the tickets for men to business class since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in consideration of their full professional status." is the key here. It's not a snub by the olympic committee, it's a multi-million dollar professional sports/entertainment organization looking after it's revenue generating players, who will be absent from their clubs for the duration of the games.

    I have nothing but admiration for the World Champion women, who are a terrific team, but they remain basically amateur athletes and if they want to be upgraded then they need to keep boosting their sport until they reach the point where the money is flowing in and they can get their financial due. As it is, they should be grateful for the fact that they are being flown half way across the world at someone else's expense, with a partial upgrade, despite the fact that their chosen sport generates virtually no money whatsoever. Same for the archers, canoers, fencers and other participants in sports unable to put bums on seats.

    Unfortunately it's highly likely that the vast majority of posters critical of this decision have done nothing whatsoever to improve the financial status of women's football - for example, by paying for a ticket to a match. Easy to get outraged and demand that someone else pay for something though, eh?

  • 2

    ojiiu812badboy

    It seems women in Japan are still Just A Load (JAL) come on Japan, it's 2012. How motivating is that for women? NOT!!!

  • 2

    hoserfella

    Unfortunately it's highly likely that the vast majority of posters critical of this decision have done nothing whatsoever to improve the financial status of women's football - for example, by paying for a ticket to a match. Easy to get outraged and demand that someone else pay for something though, eh?

    ADK99 very naive. Do you honestly think the JFA hasn't seen a lot of money roll in from increased sponsorship, attendance, and most importantly merchandising? Braying on to a handful of foreigners for not attending their games is an incredibly weak argument.

  • 1

    TigersTokyoDome

    Goodness me ADK, where do I start!

    the World Champion women, who are a terrific team, but they remain basically amateur athletes and if they want to be upgraded then they need to keep boosting their sport until they reach the point where the money is flowing in and they can get their financial due. As it is, they should be grateful for the fact that they are being flown half way across the world at someone else's expense, with a partial upgrade, despite the fact that their chosen sport generates virtually no money whatsoever. Same for the archers, canoers, fencers and other participants in sports unable to put bums on seats.

    !! I don't see what else you can do to 'boost your sport' after winning a world cup! They are not all amateur athletes my friend. Most of the women are full-time professionals and the money certainlly flowed for the JFA after the women won the world cup and sponsors and tv were all over it. Sumitomo Mitsui, Toyota and Konami all jumped on the world champions sponsors bandwagon. Grateful for being flown halfway across the world?? The JFA always had the choice not to put a womens team forward for the Olympics but they are so desparate to show off potential gold medals. The womens sport generates no money at all?

    Unfortunately it's highly likely that the vast majority of posters critical of this decision have done nothing whatsoever to improve the financial status of women's football - for example, by paying for a ticket to a match. Easy to get outraged and demand that someone else pay for something though, eh?

    What does that have to do with this story?? You don't have to have personally invested funds into Japanese womens soccer to be outraged by this story.

  • 0

    VisceralRage

    The senior men's team subsidises the women's team, which is the same in every other country. When women's football can generate it's own money women can pay to go business class.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    LOL so they DID get upgraded to "Premium Economy". What kind of a twisted class is that? They still have to travel halfway around the world in a miniature seat but does an extra peanut in their snack qualify it as "Premium"?

  • -3

    hoserfella

    The senior men's team subsidises the women's team, which is the same in every other country. When women's football can generate it's own money women can pay to go business class.

    Ahh, I see your problem, VisceralRage. Obviously you haven't been made aware of the relatively new concepts of reward, respect, equality and morals. Read up on them, Champ, and you will better understand my argument.

  • 0

    yourock

    they should both fly in economy, with me!

  • 0

    TigersTokyoDome

    The senior men's team subsidises the women's team, which is the same in every other country. When women's football can generate it's own money women can pay to go business class.

    And the womens team subsidises the men in terms of trophies, medals and world ranking. When the mens team can generate it's own world cup then they can argue about upgrades.

    ps. The Japan Football Association generates funds for the women. The men don't pay a single yen out of their overpaid salaries.

  • 2

    CrazyJoe

    I'd rather blame JOC than JAL.

  • -1

    avenger

    I think the thinking was the men are professionals and the women are amateur. Hey dont yell at me, its probably the reason

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    I feel for the ladies, I really do. Heck - I'm surprised the Japanese men's team didn't order them up to the first-class cabin to make them tea and pour them their beers, being Japanese and all! lol

  • 3

    cleo

    the men are professionals and the women are amateur

    There should be no professionals in the Olympics anyway. imho.

  • -1

    tokyotom

    some of them have beards dude, gimme hope solo in economy class any day

    I don't really see why the womens team cannot continue to be regarded as traditional Japanese women (nadeshiko) AND fly business class as world champions? They don't have to shed their womanhood just to be treated equally on a sporting level? Does this mean they have to grow beards to be treated equally?

  • 4

    Howard Watanabe-Jin

    JAL Japan Air Lines i know the executives at JAL have had a damage control meeting. Here is what i have to offer JAL. I have flown JAL for 32 years...and i am sick and tired of the degrading of service..and now being POLITICALLY stu pid.

    So i will donate all my fly points to the Japanese Womens Soccer team...so they can fly Premium Business Class...then after i will never fly JAL again........ going down down down....

  • 2

    BurakuminDes

    There should be no professionals in the Olympics anyway. imho.

    Who would watch? You'd have amateur Fred Bloggs running 13 seconds for the 100m and nabbing the gold, whilst Bolt is running as a mega-rich superstar (and fully deserved) pro in 9.58. It would become like a school athletics carnival! All Olympic Athletes deserve MEGA bucks for all the billions of dollars they generate for TV execs, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Nike etc etc. And these Japanese ladies absolutely deserve the equal transport status as the under-23 men - they have generated massive revenue for old farts and their crappy companies in Japan. Sadly, this is Japan though where gender equality is 40 years behind the Aussies, USAs and Canadas.

  • 0

    larguero

    I guess that division has to do with the importance of each discipline. Being a football fan, I cannot name even one female player.

  • 0

    Hide Suzuki

    @hoserfella

    "ADK99 very naive. Do you honestly think the JFA hasn't seen a lot of money roll in from increased sponsorship, attendance, and most importantly merchandising? Braying on to a handful of foreigners for not attending their games is an incredibly weak argument."

    Very naive, only one women's team INAC gets good attendance for their games, and only 3000-6000 at best, for like 1000 or 1500 yen. Other women's teams still get 500-1500 customers, often for free. Average J-league games get 10,000-20,000 paying customers, and a lot more than 1000 yen. Most sponsors sponsor individual teams, players, not the entire female soccer players.

    Assuming that somehow women's soccer became a big business after the world cup is an incredibly weak argument.

  • 0

    VisceralRage

    "Ahh, I see your problem, VisceralRage. Obviously you haven't been made aware of the relatively new concepts of reward, respect, equality and morals"

    What has that got to do with the fact men's football generates the income which allows women's football to have a team? Equality would mean women earned their own money and paid their own way, which they don't, and it's the same in every other country which is sending a women's team, men's football pays for women's football.

    "And the womens team subsidises the men in terms of trophies, medals and world ranking. When the mens team can generate it's own world cup then they can argue about upgrades.

    ps. The Japan Football Association generates funds for the women. The men don't pay a single yen out of their overpaid salaries."

    Where does the football association get their cash revenue from? The senior men's team. Your claim that Women's teams subsidises men's teams in terms of trophies is ridiculous, women have won all those trophies but still can't manage without money generated from the men's game, which should tell you that women's football is no where near being of equal stature to men's, and guess what it never will be.

  • 0

    nikkeiboy

    It's not about sexism. It's all about money. The men's team makes a lot more money for JFA than the women's team. The women's team may be ranked higher and has potential to win a medal, but the men's team still brings in a lot more cash and sponsors. Thus, the upgrade. It's just business and you keep your productive employees happy.

  • -1

    hoserfella

    HideSuzuki VisceralRage, nikkiboy - It IS about sexism. No one here has argued that Womens Football has brought in the same revenue as the men. However, revenue has been generated through merchandising, TV sponsorship etc. as you well know.

    That is not the point. This is not some small banana republic sending a 50th ranked team to London. these are the world champions from the worlds 2nd biggest economy and for the JFA not to spend a token amount of cash from the millions they no doubt have in the bank, is a slap in the face to the team and Japanese women in general. But then again, what would you expect from a country with the worst sex equality figures in the industrialized world? It comes down to that and the insecurity of Japanese men being outclassed in International competition by their female counterparts year after year.

  • 0

    AlgernonF

    I would be interested to know where Coach Sasaki sat.

  • 0

    ADK99

    Horsefella, I wasn't intended to "bray on to a handful of foreigners" for not supporting the women's game. I was simply attempting to make the point (perhaps badly) that athletes in sports that are basically not self-supporting cannot expect the trappings that go with big money pro-sports. Pro sports is entertainment and if people are not sufficiently entertained by your product then you're the same as the musician taking a bus to a gig that he - or she -can't afford to take a taxi to. Money paid for 20 business class upgrades is money that comes from other areas of sports funding, whether it's JOC programmes, JFA grassroots coaching or whatever. It's not magically created out of nowhere just because someone wins something. Some sponsorship may well have flowed into the JFA as a result of the world cup win. Some of it was spent on the 5 million win bonus awarded to the players (and more was paid directly by sponsors). Some more of it went into supporting the perpetually loss-making women's league. Some of the players (Sawa in particular) have certainly made a lot of money in the aftermath of the win, which is as it should be. But given the level of subsidy already being provided to them, I think it's rather ungracious for them to quibble about whether or not they were upgraded - none of the other amateur athletes were, with the exception of the giants. And in most cases they ARE amateur athletes. Very few of the world cup winning squad had professional contracts.

    All that said, I think a good case could be made for having sent the men in economy class too, and I think JAL missed an opportunity for some good PR. And unless they're playing against the UK I'll be cheering for them in every game, they really are a fine side.

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