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World champion women relegated to back of plane
by Paul Kennedy, July 20th, 2012 12:12AM

TAGS:  japan, olympics


[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.

  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: July 20, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
    Wow--Japanese traditional respect for age and accomplishment apparently ranks somewhere below sexism. Way to remain in the 18th century, Japan.
  1. Kim Kelley
    commented on: July 20, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.
    I can't believe this! Professional women who have honored their country. Way to go Japan for looking like a bunch of idiots.
  1. Jack Aldridge
    commented on: July 20, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
    For shame Japan, for shame.
  1. Daniel Pelleck
    commented on: July 20, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.
    Plus you could fit the Japanese women two to a seat in business class

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