The Japan Pro Footballers Association tiptoed around the issue of a potential labor strike on Wednesday, one day after Japan Football Association President Junji Ogura dared the players to boycott national team games.
“We never said we were definitely going to boycott or go on strike,” said JPFA chief Toshiya Fujita, a former Japanese international now with Roasso Kumamoto of the J. League second division. “For the sake of everyone’s future, now is the time to seriously talk things through.”
Ogura on Tuesday hit back at the players’ association, which suggested it might refuse to play in future Japan friendlies if its demands were not met soon.
The JPFA is seeking an increase in winning bonuses as well as a share of the revenue from image rights. A national team player currently makes anywhere from ¥100,000 to ¥200,000 for every game Japan win depending on the rank of the opponents.
The JPFA wants ¥1 million per victory for every player.
Ogura replied by saying, “We’ll go on with the players who want to play.”