Jordan reject laser claim at Japan match

Jordan on Wednesday denied accusations that lasers were shone in Japanese players’ faces during their 2-1 World Cup qualifier loss to the kingdom, saying the claims seek to justify their loss.

“Personally, I am surprised at these accusations. We did not hear or notice anything about laser,” Salah Sabra, vice-president of the Jordan Football Association, told AFP.

“The Japanese players themselves did not complain during or after the match yesterday.”

Japanese 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.

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

“Security measures were tough before and during the match. The police thoroughly frisked everyone,” Sabra said, adding that 20,000 people attended the game.

“We highly respect our Japanese friends but, personally, I think it is a weak attempt to cover up their loss.”

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.

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