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Let’s discuss the Japan boxing scandal

KYODO

This week’s featured article

Japan Amateur Boxing Federation President Akira Yamane announced his resignation on Aug. 8 following numerous allegations of misconduct, including pressuring referees to fix matches and misuse of grant money.

Yamane, 78, has denied several allegations against him, but acknowledged his relationship with a former gang leader, prompting Japan Sports Agency chief Daichi Suzuki and others to call for him to step down.

“Today, I tender my resignation. As president of the federation, I apologize to the athletes for the fact that such a problem has occurred. I am very sorry,” Yamane said at a news conference.

The announcement follows an emergency federation meeting on Aug. 7 to address Yamane’s leadership of the organization, with the sheer number of allegations apparently making his position untenable.

“In the end, the board of directors left the decision up to me as the president, so I went home and consulted my wife. She told me I should take care of my troubles now, so I took this decision,” Yamane said.

In his resignation statement, Yamane did not address his relationship with the organized crime figure. He also did not touch upon the alleged misuse of grant money.

Yamane’s alleged misconduct came to light after a privately formed amateur boxing support group, led by former JABF board member Yoshio Tsuruki, filed a complaint last month calling for the JABF to be investigated over 12 specific issues.

Tsuruki said Yamane needed to provide more information about his resignation and any relationship with the JABF going forward.

“The implication of his resignation is unclear. Is he quitting as president? As a member of the board? I don’t know if he is even fully retiring,” Tsuruki said.

“This is not a step forward at all. Since our aim is to change the organization itself, there’s no meaning if he remains at the top.”

Among other complaints, Yamane is said to have pressured referees to give favorable treatment to fighters from his native Nara Prefecture.

First published in The Japan Times on Aug. 9.

Warm up

One-minute chat about a time you quit something.

Game

Collect words related to boxing, e.g., match, bout, glove.

New words

1) allegation: an accusation that someone has done something wrong or illegal, e.g., “He denied the allegation that he stole the cash.”

2) misconduct: behavior that is illegal or wrong, e.g., “She was charged with misconduct for harassing the employee.”

Guess the headline

Boxing c_ _ _f Akira Yamane quits amid mi_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ scandal

Questions

1) What types of misconduct are mentioned?

2) How did Mr. Yamane resign from his post?

3) What does Mr. Tsuruki think about Mr. Yamane’s announcement?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What do you think about this issue?

2) What do you think should be done to change the boxing business in Japan?

3) And how about in sport in Japan generally?

Reference

スポーツ界の構造的な問題がたびたび取り上げられるようになっていますが、次はボクシング界に騒動が起こっています。特に、1つのスポーツ種目のトップである人物が反社会的勢力との交際を認めたことには激震が走りました。

本来フェアプレーが最も大事にされなければいけないスポーツの世界でなぜこのような事態が起きてしまうのでしょうか。また、スポーツの祭典が日本にやってくるなかで私達に出来ることは何かあるのでしょうか。朝の会に参加し、皆さんで語り合ってみましょう。

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