The Urawa Reds club, who play in Japan’s J-League Division 1, have removed a banner from their home stadium over fears the sign could be considered racist.
If we can’t be united, we can’t win.
Most teams in the J-League have foreign players on their roster but Urawa did not have a single foreigner in its squad for Saturday’s match, despite having a Serbian coach in Mihailo Petrovic.
A photograph of the ‘Japanese Only’ banner went viral on Saturday with it believed to be aimed at foreign tourists.
A statement on the team’s official website read: “As far as the club is concerned, racist language or behaviour is totally inexcusable.”
It was not known who put the sign up but the team said they are “working to establish the facts of the incident.”
After losing the match 1-0 Urawa Reds defender Tomoaki Makino said, “This is what should not be done as our players play for Urawa with pride”.
He continued “If we can’t be united, we can’t win”.