Japan to complain over lasers at match vs Jordan

Japan’s footballing chiefs are to lodge a formal complaint with the sport’s governing body after lasers were shone in players’ faces during the team’s 2-1 loss to Jordan, a report said on Wednesday.

Association president Kuniya Daini told reporters that goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and midfielder Yasuhito Endo had the lights — which can cause eye damage — directed at them.

“We will make a complaint,” Kuniya told Kyodo News after the match at King Abdullah International Stadium in Amman, Jordan’s capital.

Japan’s shock loss scuppered their hopes of early qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A headed goal on the stroke of half-time and a breakaway effort on the hour-mark had put the hosts 2-0 ahead but Japan got one back through Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa, and then earned a penalty just a minute later.

However, Amer Sabbah flung himself at Endo’s well-taken spot-kick to earn Jordan the points that take them from bottom to second in Group B — and deny Japan the draw that would have made them the first country to qualify for the World Cup.

Endo insisted the lasers had not distracted him, but said players had been coping with them throughout the game.

“We had the laser beams from the first half, but I didn’t care. I knew I had the beam when I tried to hit a penalty shot. It didn’t affect my play,” said Endo.

Daini said Japan would also be complaining about throat-cutting gestures made by two of Jordan’s players that appeared to be aimed at coach Alberto Zaccheroni at half time and at the end of the game.

“One Jordan player was provocative throughout the game and I just tried to ask the reason why,” the Italian coach said calmly after the game.

“Of course, we wanted to get the ticket to the World Cup. We wanted to make it today. I was very disappointed with the result. We must improve the accuracy of the final shots,” he added.

Japan still lead Group B on 13 points, followed by Jordan on seven points, Australia and Oman on six points, and Iraq on five points.

The Blue Samurai, who are aiming for a fifth straight berth to the World Cup finals, next play Australia at home on June 4.

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