Ogura dares players to boycott

Kyodo News

Japan Football Association President Junji Ogura said Tuesday that he will not tolerate players boycotting matches to force a raise from the nation’s soccer governing body.

“If any player wants to boycott games because he feels like he isn’t being paid enough, then be my guest,” Ogura said at the JFA’s Tokyo headquarters.

The JFA and the Japan Pro Footballers Association met for the first time over the matter on Tuesday, when the players’ association submitted their wage demands.

The JPFA wants an increase in match winning bonuses, as well as a share of the revenue from the players’ image rights. Japan players receive anywhere from ¥100,000 to ¥200,000 for every victory, but said they will ask for a minimum of ¥1 million.

JPFA executive officer Tetsuro Kiyooka came away from the meeting with positive vibes.

“It was very positive,” said Kiyooka, who was accompanied by JPFA attorney Taisuke Matsumoto. “They were willing to hear us out. We hope their reply to us will include details.”

Ogura echoed Kiyooka’s sentiments, saying continued dialogue between the two camps will be key.

“The important thing is to communicate, to talk through our differences so we can avoid or clear any misunderstandings between us,” Ogura said.