FA asks Japanese national players to grow up

Japan Football Association chairman Saburo Kawabuchi reportedly launched an "astonishing" attack on the national team after its defeat at a friendly in Ukraine. Japan were beaten 1-0 in Kiev on Wednesday and Mr Kawabuchi told Reuters he was embarrassed by the constant carping at the referee by the players.

“There were too many stupid yellow cards and too much complaining to the referee,” he said, singling out Brazilian-born defender Alex as a repeat offender. “He needs to take a pill for his blood pressure. As a Japan player I want him to grow out of that. He has learnt nothing.”

Ten-man Japan were beaten by a late penalty. Earlier, Koji Nakata had been sent off for a lunge from behind. “It was criminal,” Japan coach Zico was quoted as saying by Nikkan Sports daily. “He (the referee) couldn't complain if he was arrested.” Kawabuchi has called for the team to show more restraint and blamed defender Yoshinobu Minowa for giving away the decisive penalty.