[OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN]Japan women's national team is world champion, but that hasn't earned it much respect. The Nadeshiko was relegated to the back of the plane -- literally -- for the plane ride to London and the Summer Olympics.
The Japanese women rode in economy seats on a 12-hour flight from Tokyo, while the men’s team rode business class.
“It should have been the other way around,” said captain Homare Sawa, the 2011 Women's Player of the Year. “Even just in terms of age, we are senior."
The Japan Olympic Committee provides each Olympic-bound athlete an economy-class ticket. Each sports association can upgrade the tickets as it sees fit.
The Japan Football Association has been flying the men's team in business since the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.
Its only accommodation to women this year was to upgrade them to economy premium -- and an extra 20 percent leg room.