TOKYO - Japanese football could be heading for
industrial action after a row over win bonuses for the national
team saw the players association register as a labour union.
Japan's players association (JPFA) announced on Wednesday it
would register as a union, though its president, Toshiya Fujita,
said it hoped to have productive negotiations with the Japan
Football Association (JFA) and avoid potential strike action.
"We want to make an effort to find the best way forward for
the future of Japanese soccer," he told Japan's Nikkan Sports
The JFA has opposed demands for a pay rise, pointing to the
two million yen ($24,500) paid to each player for wins at last
year's World Cup in South Africa - double the amount shelled
out at the 2006 tournament in Germany.
Japan's players were demanding bigger bonuses before the
Blue Samurai won the Asian Cup in January and had threatened to
boycott friendlies with Montenegro and New Zealand this month.
The JFA hit back by saying they paid each player 3.95
million yen when Japan won the Asian Cup.
Japanese internationals currently receive an estimated
100,000-200,000 yen for every win but the players are reported
to be asking for a minimum of one million yen.
The Blue Samurai will play Montenegro on March 25 in
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