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Wednesday, 15th August 2012
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Nadeshiko jet home in business class

The Japan Football Association (JFA) delivered on its promise to give the women's football team the same rights as their male counterparts when it came to travel.

Nadeshiko returned to Japan in business class alongside the men's football team after the end of the Olympic Games, the Associated Press reports. 

Controversy arose when the female team were relegated to economy class on their way to the Games, despite scooping the World Cup in 2011.

It was felt this was unfair given that the men's under-23s were seated in business class despite making any major achievements in recent competitions.

The women's team picked up a silver medal in London after a 2-1 defeat to their World Cup finalist rivals, the US.

However, the men's team took up their places in business class after crashing out of the competition in the semi-finals.

They fought for bronze against Korea but failed to take home the accolade, although it was one of their best Olympics performances in decades.

While the JFA argued the women's team were upgraded because they triumphed at the Games, they maintained the men's team deserved a place in business class too because they are professionals.

The US took gold in the women's football competition, with Canada beating France 1-0 to take bronze.

On the men's side of the event, Mexico achieved gold after a hard battle against Brazil for a 2-1 victory.

At the time of the flight controversy, Homare Sawa, the 2011 Fifa Women's World Player of the Year, expressed her own confusion over the flight privilege given to the men's side.

She told the AFP: "I guess it should have been the other way around. Even just in terms of age, we are senior."

Nadeshiko were bumped up to economy premium at the time, with the JFA then paying tribute to their standing as the best women's football team in the world.

Posted by Graham McPherson

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