Supporters of the Urawa Reds, who caused a serious stadium disturbance in Japan, were disciplined by the Japan Football Association. However, after the announcement of the disciplinary action, a new controversy has arisen in Japan. Critics point out that it is a “soft bat.”
Urawa caused a disturbance after losing to Nagoya Grampus at the 2023 Emperor’s Cup All-Japan Football Championship on the 2nd. He shook off the restraint of the security personnel and crossed the stadium to cause a physical conflict with Nagoya fans for his opponent’s provocation.
According to a number of Japanese media, including “Sponichi,” the Japan Football Association (JFA) has decided to impose an indefinite ban on 17 Urawa supporters involved in the violence at the time. To be exact, there were a total of 18 Urawa supporters in question, of which 17 were banned indefinitely and one was banned from entering five games. In addition, additional videos are currently being analyzed, and additional disciplinary action has been taken whenever related personnel are confirmed. Currently, about eight more people are being mentioned.
Japan Football Association President Kozo Tajima stressed in a statement that the decision was “extremely strict.” Chairman Tajima said, “I am very sorry that the soccer field environment, which should be a pleasant and exciting environment due to some thoughtless supporters, has been invaded by violence, threats, and destruction.” Japan has been internationally regarded as a country where women, children, and the elderly can watch soccer safely and comfortably,” he said, calling it a disgrace to Japanese soccer.
In addition, Urawa further announced that supporters subject to disciplinary action by the Japan Football Association will be banned indefinitely from international games such as the AFC Champions League. In addition, he has already announced the disposition of 77 people, including “Colider,” who commands the support of fans, showing his willingness to start purifying themselves.
However, in Japan, public opinion is dominant that the disciplinary action is too weak. At first, Urawa was even mentioned as on the verge of being banned from next year’s tournament due to the supporters’ disturbance. On social media, “That’s great. What did it take almost a month? The prevailing opinion is that the decision, which is far from social notions, makes me laugh.
There is a reason for this. Seventeen supporters were banned indefinitely. At first glance, it appears to have been severely punished. However, other J-League fans raise their voices, saying, “We should be banned from entering permanently, not indefinitely.” The indefinite ban on admission is a disciplinary action that leaves room for disciplinary action to be lifted later.
Meanwhile, the Japan Football Association emphasizes that this disciplinary action is not the end. The issue of Urawa’s disqualification from participating in next year’s Emperor’s Cup has not yet subsided. The reward and punishment committee will be deliberated in mid-September.