Japan’s Junya Ito, who was accused of sexual misconduct, heads to the bench during the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup round of 16 match between Bahrain and Japan held at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar on the 31st (local time).
The Japanese national soccer team, ahead of its 2024 Asian Cup quarterfinal match with its archenemy Iran, staged a skit in which it reconvened striker Junya Ito (31, Stade Reims), who is suspected of sexual misconduct, less than 12 hours after expelling him.
According to Japanese media on the 2nd, the Japan Football Association (JFA) made a correction and announced at 2 a.m. (Japan time) that “Ito will not be leaving the team.”
Previously, at 1:30 pm on the 1st, JFA announced that Ito was expelled from the national team, saying, “Ito is leaving the Japanese national team.”
The reason for JFA’s expulsion is that he was accused of forcibly having sexual intercourse with two women in their 20s without their consent in the early morning of June 21, 2023.
At that time, on June 20, the day before the incident, Ito won a 4-1 friendly match against the Peruvian national team in Osaka, and then took two women, including Mr. A, whom he had met at a bar, to a luxury hotel in Nakanosama, Osaka. After having sexual intercourse, he was sued by Mr. A on charges of ‘sexual intercourse without consent.’
General Manager Masakuni Yamamoto, who is leading the 2024 Asian Cup Japan national team, explained, “Many players expressed their desire to play with Ito to win the Asian Cup, so we brought them back to the association’s leadership meeting to reconsider Ito’s future.” .
Ito played as a starter in the three group stage games of this tournament, but was benched as a substitute in the round of 16 against Bahrain held after the accusation was made public. 고스톱