Japan women's coach Norio Sasaki admitted he instructed his players not to score in its final group game against South Africa. The game ended 0-0 and FIFA said it will not take
action. Sasaki wanted to avoid a trip to Glasgow.
The admission by defending women's soccer world champion Japan comes as eight female badminton players were disqualified from the Games for trying to lose matches to receive a favorable draw. The Badminton World Federation found the players guilty of "not using one's best efforts to win a match" -- a description that sums up Japan's soccer team's efforts on Tuesday against South Africa, notes Robert Klemko.
A Japan win over South Africa would have given Sasaki's team first place in
Group F and send it Glasgow for the quarterfinals. The tie means Sweden won the group and Japan stays in Cardiff for a Friday quarterfinal against Brazil.
"It was a different way of playing compared to the usual game, but the players were on the same page as me," Sasaki said. "I feel sorry we couldn't show a respectable game, but it's my responsibility, not the players, why the game was like that. It was important for us not to move to Glasgow."