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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twitter Nitwit - Women's Soccer

#4 Kumagai Saki
Okay... so I thought I pulled a major boner after Japan's woman's soccer team won the 2011 World Cup in a surprise (for many) victory over a powerful and oft-times dominant USA team. You can read about my foul-up HERE.

But no... a member of Japan's team managed to out-do me - mostly because the Japanese take being dishonourable a lot more seriously than even I do - which is saying a lot, given my current circumstances.

Japan's Kumagai Saki (surname first) made a formal apology on July 22, 2011 for a tweeting about her rip-roaring good time with some university student two days earlier on July 20.

"I'm sorry about what has been brought on as a result of my careless actions," explains a contrite Kumagai, who scored the Cup-winning penalty shot in last Sunday's game.

Coach Sasakai Norio also offered an apology for Kumagai's comments that hit the airwaves through Twitter posts made by one of the students.

"It comes down to my lack of supervision," Sasaki notes. "I apologize to everyone who has been so supportive of Nadeshiko Japan."

Nadeshiko is the nickname of the Japanese women's soccer team--now ranked fourth in the world. 

Obviously NOT the racy photos of Maruyama Karina (l).
July 20, the 20-year-old Kumagai was celebrating with the university students when she (as reported by the Twitter tweets of a 21-year-old man) made several critical remarks about coach Sasaki and the Japan team. As well, the tweets accuse Kumagai of showing the students some racy photos taken on her mobile phone of teammate and forward Maruyama Karina topless. 

The next day on Twitter, Kumagai denied showing any photos around or that she criticized her coach.

"It is not true that I criticized the coach. But, undoubtedly, I was so inarticulate that my words were misunderstood," explains Kumagai, a defender with the Urawa Reds Ladies, who is now bound for the women's Bundesliga side Frankfurt.

"About the team situation, it was written in expressions which were far from the facts," Kumagai says. "I want to raise my awareness not only in the area of football but also in every aspect."

Despite her apology and attempt to clear her name, on July 21, 2011, the Japan Football Association (JFA) issued a stern warning to the Japanese team as Kumagai was removed from further scheduled television appearances.

The coach revealed that he had talked to Kumagai by denwa (telephone): "If we didn't pull off what we pulled off at the World Cup, maybe something like this would have never happened. We just have to behave knowing where we stand now.

"It is all due to my lack of supervision. I should have been more thorough in guiding my players. We have failed to adapt to changes in public attention on the Nadeshiko. Allow me to apologize to all the people who have supported the Nadeshiko."

Nadeshiko loosely translates into 'beautiful flower'.

JFA vice-president Daini Kuniya (surname first) says he had previously warned everyone on the team about team responsibility: "I gave instructions to tell everyone not to get carried away and watch out for their own behaviour."

Saki Kumagai 
Japan team #: 4
 Date of birth: 17/10/90
Height: 171 cm
Position: Defense
Home team: Urawa Lady Reds (JPN)

World Cup Performance:
Minutes played: 600
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Yellow Cards: 1

 Scored deciding penalty kick in Finals.

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