Sampson consoles, praises Bassett after crushing loss

Dan Lauletta July 1, 2015 85

EDMONTON, Alberta — More than a year ago, Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes recounted an anecdote about the moment she knew Laura Bassett was going to be a team leader. She could tell, Hayes said, because of the way Bassett’s mostly new teammates responded to her during a group dinner.

Wednesday night, and maybe for some time to come, Bassett will be looking to her England teammates for support, and maybe for some shoulders to cry on.

It was Bassett, 31 and now of Notts County, who reached her leg out in an effort to keep a stoppage time cross away from Yuki Ogimi in Saturday’s World Cup semifinal against Japan. Bassett’s right foot was able to poke the ball away, but what happened in the next instant amounted to a far worse fate for the England center back than had she allowed the ball to continue to Ogimi for the game winner. Instead Bassett’s foot sent the ball off the bottom of the cross and into Karen Bardsley’s goal. And before most of the 31,467 at Commonwealth Stadium could come to terms with what happened, two blows of the referee’s whistle signaled the end of the match. Final score: Japan 2, England 1.

“She’s in a hard place, she really is,” England manager Mark Sampson said. “She’s got her teammates around her. She’s got family around her now. It will take her a bit of time tonight just to get back in the game. But she knows she’s got the support of our group and everyone connected with this team.”

That support became evident moments after the match when an inconsolable Bassett was embraced by a few teammates and eventually by Sampson. Soon the entire team joined the group and encircled Bassett.

[MORE: Complete coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup]

Japan v England: Semi Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015“It was a horrible moment obviously for Laura, but you can see the regard in which the team hold Laura and all her teammates by their reaction,” Sampson said. “Of course every single member of my group is devastated. When that ball went over the line we were devastated. But our first point of call is look after your own. Laura is one of us. She’s one of our team. We get around her. We console her. We let her cry. And we tell her how proud we are of her. Because without her we wouldn’t be in the semifinal.”

Sampson came to the press conference looking like he too had been crying. But he answered questions of all kinds, stopping briefly to compose himself only briefly when asked about the team hug on the side of the field opposite the goal where Bassett and England’s worst nightmares became reality.

“I can’t emphasize enough that Laura Bassett epitomizes what our team is about,” he continued. “She’s honest, she’s humble, she’s hardworking. There’s not one manager in the world who wouldn’t want Laura Bassett in their group.”

Sampson went on to compliment nearly every aspect of Laura Bassett’s persona both on and off the soccer pitch. And nearly a half hour later, in the bowels of Commonwealth Stadium when the 32-year-old Sampson was answering still more questions in the face what had to be an indescribably difficult moment and defeat (“What a tough one to take,” was how he opened his press conference.), he discussed the impact he hopes Bassett and her teammates will have back in England following their unprecedented run to the semifinals.

“I really hope that tomorrow morning, at 6 o’clock in the morning before school, thousands of young girls who have never kicked a football before, will pick up a football and say, ‘Mom, I want to be Laura Bassett today.’”

  • SBFan

    And did you see the Japanese team doing some sort of celebratory wavy thing in a line right after the game on the field? No class at all. They did not win the game. Britain out played them and had the better opportunities. So thank the soccer gods or your luck for the win gifted to you; but, carrying on like that while the other team is clearly suffering from a misplay by one of their best players that gave you the game? Again, no class – none at all. You did not win the game rather your opponent gave it to you. The Japanese should have humbly walked off; and, their coach should have stopped it. I sincerely hope the USA teaches them some manners – I’d like to say that in a lot stronger way but don’t want this post to be blocked or removed.

    • NYRick

      Japan is one of those teams that kind of hangs around if you let them and steals matches. They’re good, don’t get me wrong but tonight England was clearly the better team. When Duggan’s shot hit the crossbar I started to get a sinking feeling that this wasn’t going to end well. Then I think they had another good chance and then missed a clean header by a foot or so. I figured Japan was going to steal it on kicks. Who knew the soccer gods could be so cruel?

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed. Duggan hits the crossbar and it bounces out. Basset hits the crossbar and it bounces in.

        But. You must sink your chances. You must score your penalties. The US could have lost against Germany. They didn’t. With different refs could have been different results.

        I am not persuaded that this WC helps WoSo. England reaching the final would have. This final?

        • Terry Lash

          I think it will be a game appreciated in USA and Japan, which is important. Because USA already beat Germany, I doubt a USA-England final would have done much good for European WOSO outside of England, which in any event seems to have good momentum, even enhanced by the manner of England’s loss to Japan.

          • Craigaroo

            Germany and England may not have much enthusiasm for the 3rd place game (who does?) but when it comes around to it, neither side wants to lose that match and nether do their fans.

    • guest2

      that was their celebration for making it to the finals. why can’t they celebrate, or classless that they did? england didn’t “give it” to japan, they couldn’t convert their chances. sometimes you win by dominating, and sometimes you win by doing enough to cause mistakes by the opponent. get over it.

    • ARED

      That was awesome, one of the best celebrations of the World Cup. And they did it well-after the match had ended with no English players nearby (if they were even still out at all). It’s not as if at the final whistle they ran over to Bassett as she lay on the ground crying and did the celebration in a circle around her…..

      And, it was good play by Japan that put Bassett into a lose-lose position. And Japan definitely outplayed England in general and controlled more of the game, but England had a few more good chances -especially during that stretch in the second half. It was a well-contested match, and both teams should be proud of their effort. And yes, the team heading to the WC final should celebrate all they want, just as the USA did the night before.

      • Ethan

        In my opinion, the greater purpose of football is to score goals through chances, not to control the game through possession without creating chances. Jill Scott missed a free header, Toni Duggan hit the crossbar, and someone (I don’t remember) forced Kaihori into a diving save. You have to put chances away in football; so, I’m not going to begrudge Japan their victory. However, even though it was a good cross by Kawasumi and Ogimi was in position to do something, that was a play that a defender clears without issue 99% of the time. I really hope Bassett recovers well from that play, and congratulations to England on how well they did this tournament. Congratulations to Japan as well, although I would understand their celebrations more if one of their own players had scored the winning goal after being on the back foot for so long (ala Drogba against Bayern Munich). Then again, that’s football; Henry celebrated wildly against Ireland after his handball led to Gallas’ goal. The USA-Japan and Germany-England matches should be fun.

        • ARED

          Yeah, Ellen White hit that great curler I believe.

          I agree that at the end of the day it is about chances created and chances finished. I don’t really care how a team manages to get more -while preventing the opposition. I have preferences for styles, but I also think many teams have little choice in how they play if they want to be successful, and the best teams/managers find ways to maximize the talents they do have.

          Japan plays brilliantly, passing and moving, and it is beautiful to watch. But the simple reality is that they are lacking in the final phase (or lacking a truly great striker) as they lose almost every battle for speed, balls in the air, and challenge which require strength and brawn -although they are impressively strong on the ball if they actually have control of it. So, the fact that they are so successful is a credit to how they play and maximize their talents -but they seem to create about 30 “almost” chances a match, but tend to only turn 3-4 into actual good chances. It’s not as if they can somehow turn Ogimi into an Olympic sprinter, or Ohno will turn into Alex Morgan overnight.

          Their style manages the game 80-90% of the time against low/mid range opposition, and maybe 50-60% against higher level ones. England did great to turn about 2-3 half chances into great ones, but all the same they were always trying to manage the game and then catch lightning in a bottle to snatch a goal. Which is exactly how they should play against Japan.

          Two contrasting styles, and it made for a great match. It is tough to see it end how it did, but over the course of the 90 I felt it would have seemed a “snatch and grab” if England somehow scored, and it was hard for me to see them actually doing it. But, in the second half they created enough to make me wonder…..and now we’ll never know…..cruel game indeed.

          • Ethan

            Great comment. Ogimi with pace would be something.

          • ARED

            Thanks, and cheers.

          • Steglitz49

            Yuki has had a decent career. She won the Champions league with Potsdam and two Bundesliga titles before the WC. She was also top scorer in the Bundesliga one season. Somewhere along the line she got married.

            Thus, ignoring Naho’s cross and letting it reach Yuki was not a good idea. As for fouling Yuki, the chances of Miyama missing a penalty is not that high. About the same as Jessica Rossi missing, I guess.

          • Steglitz49

            Ogimi and Ohno are world champions; Alex has to wait a couple of days (to see).

    • guest

      I’ve always felt that Japan’s humility and sportsmanship was exaggerated by the media and fans. They are a sly group. Just look at Sasaki. Good coach but that smirk he carries around all the time hints that he’s an ass.

      • Craigaroo

        see the rebuttal by memyselfandi and show you have the decency and class to apologize for your misguided remarks

        • guest

          I assure you I know the Japanese culture better than you do. They put on a nice face of class, but they are as sly as any other team in the tournament. You let an innocent exterior fool you. That is typical of a westerner who doesn’t know the culture.

          • ARED

            True enough at least to an extent, but they are slow to foul, slow to complain, and slow to anger visibly. Those are commendable qualities. They play the ball, they play their game. The opponent is sort of just there. While many teams need to sell a story of hatred or rivalry in order to compete.

    • memyselfandi

      According to the broadcast announcer, England were already in the locker room, so they did not do that in front of Bassett or her teammates. Also the stadium was near empty as well. If you still have a problem with that then that’s on you imho. It was much worse by Norway in 1995 when they did their crawl on all fours all together in a line while the U.S. were still out on the field after the semis and in front of Germany after the final. It was Japan’s attacking play that forced the error, so they won and now they are on to the final. It’s happened before and will happen again. It’s an absolute horrible way to lose but that’s the game. Get over it, she’s strong and will get over it as well.

      • Craigaroo

        I was curious to see if there was more to this. Not that you can blame a team for celebrating going to the World Cup final anyway. But the Japanese team is such a model of sportsmanship. So, it’s nice to see some confirmation that it’s rather well after the end of the game.

    • atalba

      A win is a win. Every team that makes such sacrifice and dedication to their craft deserves to win. The joy of going to the final shouldn’t be taken away from any team. Very cool celebration!

    • Craigaroo

      I want you to know. I took notice of your comment. I took it very seriously. Now that we have some answers, apparently, which flat out contradict what you said (see the reply by memyselfandi), I think you owe something here. You either owe us a very factual defense of what you claim Or you owe an apology because you’re the classless one here. You owe Japan an apology and you owe women’s soccer an apology. You owe the fans here who gave your comment the thumbs-up for leading them astray, I’m talking about NYRick, Vladlagg, and Zoe Stansbury. Japan’s sportsmanship is one of the beautiful things about this sport and to see you trash it for God knows what reason, that’s a sin. “That’s a sin, Mr Finch, and I won’t have it upon my head.”

      • Ethan

        You make a fair enough point, and SBFan probably should make another comment. However, some people like to win through a goal that was more due to their good play, rather than a freak own goal off a dangerous but completely clearable pass. I can’t remember seeing another own goal like that in women’s football. I think the Japanese themselves might look back at this after their initial high passes and realize that they got a little lucky here. They’ll be focused for the final. SBFan could also be in a bit of bad place; I know I was after Chelsea-Barcelona 2009 and Mr. Ovrebo. Maybe we’ll give him/her some time to recuperate.

        • Steglitz49

          “Sometimes it is post-in and sometimes it is post-out”, Zlatan said in an interview and thereby changed the Swedish language forever.

      • SBFan

        I owe neither you nor anyone else an apology, especially the classless dancing Japanese players. I stand by my comments – I led no one on this site astray – what I described happening happened – no comment posted here or elsewhere disputes the Japanese doing that they did and your comments cannot diminish what happened. The Japanese put their show on live FOX Sports TV if front of all those watching around the world, perhaps in the millions (for the good of woso I hope that many were watching the game even at the expense of seeing the Japanese’ display.) I don’t believe that the Brits left the field by then as the antics were shown fairly shortly after the game concluded; and, I didn’t hear a commentator mention the Brits having left the field or the stadium empting – but even if such were the case and the commentator noted that the Brits and fans were gone – well he or she was obviously trying to smooth over the disgraceful conduct of the Japanese and lessen its impact. You can have your opinion of course, and I can will keep mine as to what took place on that field as well as what is good or not for woso soccer. I called them out on their disgraceful conduct simply because it undeniably happened and left me amazed at their conduct; and yes – I don’ believe it was good for woso. I gather from your post that you didn’t view the dance and you appear to be influenced by your love of the Japanese Team which of course give you the right to defend them. I am not familiar with the Japanese team but based on what I observed I can’t agree with your assessment that their sportsmanship is a beautiful thing. Enjoy the final – I know who I will be cheering for. Lastly I don’t ask for your apology for your crass remarks because I won’t accept it!!!

        • TsovLoj

          I’ve never seen somebody on here this salty before. Not even Newsouth.

        • Craigaroo

          Well, I’m a USA fan, too, but congratulations on getting away with some of the ugliest comments I’ve seen here on EqualizerSoccer – and for encouraging and inspiring some other ones — see the comments below by “Guest”. “They are a sly group” by someone who assures us he knows Japanese culture better than the rest of us, Westerners, do. Damn fine work, SBFan
          (and someone else also wrote in to say the dance took place well after the game and doubted anyone from the England team was still on the pitch)

          • guest

            You must be a lawyer, or a Japanese or worse a Japanese lawyer. your team did exactly what SBFan said they did – tacky and tasteless dance in front of and on national television. SBFan called them on it. So you insult him/her for stating the obvious. The only response you deserved is that made famous by NJ’s famous gov. and pres candidate Chris Christe – “shut up and sit down”.

          • Craigaroo

            “stating the obvious” – so obvious that at least two others here have flat-out contradicted that Japan’s team did their little dance in front of the England team. Meanwhile, you feel free to engage in racial stereotyping about the Japanese and their slyness. Obviously trying to carry on a conversation with someone who’s rather clearly a bigot like you has limited value but bigotry shouldn’t be condoned or accepted. I can only imagine if you made similar generalizations about blacks or Jews, or even Americans. The uproar here would be mighty. That it isn’t, that the normally moralistic crowd here (sometimes, perhaps, overly moralistic) decides to give you a pass is a little troubling but I assume it’s a combination of , A) mild shock to see some real bigotry right in front of them, and B) that it’s a bigotry, against Japanese, that they aren’t accustomed to seeing and aren’t conditioned to respond to, as they would if , as mentioned before, it was blacks, say, or Jews or even Americans that were the target of your slurs.

          • Guest1

            Now you should really listen to the governor’s advise instead of trying to make this link of comments into way more than what the folks have been saying.

          • Craigaroo

            Good. You neither want to address the facts of the matter – whether the Japanese women did this right in front of England. Nor do you care to be bothered when people are talking about how they know these people more than you or I do and assure us that they are sly and putting on a false face to fool us Westerners. That’s a pretty serious slur. Glad you don’t think prejudice is something decent people need to be bothered about.

          • Steglitz49

            The winner takes it all. The losers weep. That is the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes it crumbles for you and sometimes not. Life goes on.

  • NYRick

    I really like this Sampson coach. His post game on the field interview was so genuine. He said all the right things and immediately talked about his player in such emotional pain for the tough game ending miscue and what she meant to the team’s success. Damn, I wish this team was in the final. It was probably pretty important to European soccer in general just to have a watching TV audience. US-England is always epic. Let’s face it, we have the most incredible history together as countries for starters. And US-Japan we’ve seen that now twice in finals. Such a shame. But that England team is one their country really could be proud of. I hope they get a similar reaction back home that our WC11 team got after losing in gut-wrenching fashion in PKs to Japan.

    I’m going to venture that Laura Bassett becomes a beloved hero back home. She showed the one thing I always love to see in an athlete for any team I root for…she freakin cared. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for as a fan. She is going to be a hero back home, just watch. People will relate to her human anguish and rally around her. I hope so.

    • Hwah

      Both the coach and Bassett’s teammates were top notch in the post-game interviews after what was a most devastating loss. Well done by them.

      • NYRick

        Both Germany and England have showed incredible class and sportsmanship in defeat. Very impressive.

        • Steglitz49

          That is why it should be known as Ladies Football, not women’s.

          • VaFan51

            Sexist comment.

          • Steglitz49

            How?

          • guest

            Steg, you need to come out of StegWorld and into the real world.

          • Steglitz49

            Arsenal Ladies, the only English club to have won the Champions League.

          • TsovLoj

            The connotations are completely different for North Americans, man. “Women” sounds like a more respectful term to us.

          • Les_Bleus

            Steph Houghton showed the world that women footballers have learned the art of diving to win penalties from the men. She will learn to be more subtle in future because her play acting was really bad, as she did a slow motion theatrical fall to the ground.

          • Steglitz49

            Such WoSo is going down a blind alley. If WoSo simply becomes a slow version of the men’s game, we might as well watch men’s U21 soccer.

        • Les_Bleus

          I wouldn’t call Steph Houghton’s dive to win that penalty ‘sportsmanship’ by any stretch of the imagination. We lost fair & square to Japan, so let’s just move on.

    • 5BorosDick

      How can you like this coach? He should have been saying that this was Bassett’s last game for England ever! I mean what the heck was she doing getting upset and crying. Why would she be seen as heroic? She should be vilified for costing England the game.

      • TsovLoj

        Some things warrant crying. Can you imagine Rooney or the like caring enough about national team play to cry?

      • Ethan

        I’m trying to decide if you are serious. I hope you aren’t, but trolling isn’t that great either.

  • Маркус Джилс

    I’ve never felt worse for an athlete (minus anything having to do w/ death/injury). I thought Claire Lavogez was as bad as it gets last week. Felt bad for the Matildas losing on the back-end of the match & terrible for Sasic & her missed PK. But my goodness, that is such a specific type of… I cant even pull the word out to describe it. I was pulling for England. I couldnt believe how well they played. Were the better team. Were going to at least have a shot of getting to the FINAL.

    You read Kelly Smith’s book, & understand just were WoSo in England was, were it came from. Players like Faye White, Casey Stoney, etc., and then what they were so close to achieving.

    Nobody ever deserves that. Im still bummed about it. Something so awful, something she will take forever, something that may be the last time she plays for England in a world cup – if not something she will have to sit with until 2019… THEY WERE SO CLOSE.

    Hashtag SadFace.

    • mockmook

      She will get at least one chance to rebound against GER in the 3rd place game.

  • ian

    That cross from Naho that led to the own goal though…

    • Ethan

      A good one, but there did seem to be a slight stumble from Bassett. That cross is fairly comfortably cleared a great majority of the time.

      • Steglitz49

        It was pinpoint accurate hit late in the game

  • ARED

    A truly brilliant ball from Kawasumi and a great effort by Bassett to cut it out. She did her primary job, which was to prevent the ball from getting past, and beyond that you can only hope to avoid the cruelty and misfortune that so often come with this game. But this is part of why it is the beautiful game, because without these dark and trying moments we wouldn’t appreciate those which are full of light.

    Congrats England, well done.

    • Steglitz49

      Verily. Her’s bounced in while Duggan’s bounced out. A pity.

  • ARED

    Also, for all the talk and headlines about Herdman, I believe Mark Sampson outshone him both on and off the field (so to speak). His tactics were brilliant, he had the team fully committed and fully believing, and now he has shown a lot of class in how he’s handled this most difficult moment.

    • Steglitz49

      It must grate not to be allowed to lead a Team Gbr, though, Welshman that he is to boot.

    • guest

      Herdman is nothing but a loudmouth. Overrated as a manager.

      • Craigaroo

        A bit unnecessary. Canada did about as well as could realistically be expected and they made the quarterfinals, which is good. He has an aging star, no one who has come close to her level. And all fans of the NWSL knew he was going to have a hard time cobbling together a backline, even with the sensational young Kadeisha Buchanan

        • Steglitz49

          With home ground advantage, Canada ought to have beaten England. Objectively viewed, they failed.

        • guest

          Canada was given the easiest possible draw and yet still looked terrible throughout the tournament. Herdman talks a big game, but his team didn’t show up.

        • ARED

          I try to remember that Matheson was a huge loss, but I still cannot really agree with how passively he played. He seemed to know he had a cushy draw and tried to ride it out without taking risks or really “going for it”.

          The team -and Sinclair -looked much better with Belanger and Leon in the attack. If they managed to push Schmidt forward more to connect with that trio I think he might have found a higher level for Canada.

          And yes, he did push the talk and “manager presence” a bit much for me as well. I’m fine with that tactic at times, but he seemed to never stop (and never see a mic he didn’t love). It comes with the territory -if Mourinho didn’t win, everybody would hate him. Even with all he does win, more dislike him than like him.

  • Steglitz49

    For those who are interested in WoSo in England, Liverpool Ladies striker Nicole Rolser is leaving to join Bayern Munich. The 23 old German won back to back FAWSL titles with Liverpool and was much loved on Merseyside though she missed a lot of play because of her ACL-tear.

    • Lord Zlatan

      Frauen- Bundesliga is becoming the men’s Budesliga, not in popularity, but because they’re both become boring, one or two team dominating the league.

      Bayern Munich would now try to make Vfl Wolfsburg or FCC frankfurt as their youth team. Like what they did to Borussia Dortmund in the men’s league.

      • Lance Scallop

        It was Postdam and Frankfurt for years.

        It’s fantastic to see Wolfsburg and Bayern investing in women’s soccer. Germany could be a four-team battle for the next few years which will be very exciting.

        If women want higher salaries, some clubs with money are inevitably going to pay more and you might have some dominant teams. Look at France!!!

        You can’t have it both ways.

        • Lord Zlatan

          It could be. Pour in more money is the solution.

        • Steglitz49

          Potsdam and FF are ladies clubs. Wolfsburg, a subsidiary of VW, and Bayern Munich have money from their men’s side. It is a poor omen for WoSo. Men’s toy WoSo kept because real WoSo can’t keep up.

  • Les_Bleus

    Did someone claim that England showed ‘sportsmanship’ in their defeat by Japan??? Is diving to deceive the referee to earn a penalty-kick ‘sportsmanship’??? Captain Steph Hughton should come out to admit she is a cheat. Her dive was so bad that she should have been shown a straight red card.

    • Miami66

      There was some contact. It was also a dive yes. But Japan benefitted from an early non-PK which may have influenced that. Plus, going back to Bassett, she could’ve committed a smart foul on Japan to prevent that own goal from ever happening. But she played the ball instead.

      • Les_Bleus

        I salute Laura Bassett because she tried her best within the laws of the game to clear that ball. As England captain, Steph Houghton should have led by example and not cheated. She let the country down. Condoning her deception gives us no right to take the moral high ground with regards to Diego Maradona’s handball against England in 1986.

    • Ethan

      You think her dive was so bad that she should have been shown a red card? If you watch men’s football, you must be very mad a lot of the time.

    • ARED

      If you are fouled hard enough to make you lose your chance to play the ball -as she was -then it is NOT a dive. It may be “embellishment” or “exaggeration”, but hardly a dive. As she stumbled to the ground she threw her hands up and yelled. So? She didn’t ask the Japanese player (Ogimi?) to foul her, and she has no reason to be happy about it.

      The right call was made. Players have the right to go down when fouled; their opponents do not have the right to foul someone and then complain when they are called for it because “the player fell too hard”. And to Japan’s credit, they seemed to agree with or at least accept the call.

      Plenty of players dive when they shouldn’t, with no contact or trying to make fair contact look like a foul. This wasn’t even close to that. Foul all day long.

  • dj

    Japanese coach is an a@@hole. I don’t like that guy. If you don’t have nice things to say, shut your f’king mouth.

    • Craigaroo

      I detect something I don’t like. Why is so much being made (by so few) of Japan’s postgame reactions ? Also, see below the reaction to Japan’s celebration. Mark Sampson’s handling of it was all incredibly classy. It’s his player. It’s his team’s loss. He handled it very well. Do we have to go around trying to look for negatives? (in translations no less)

    • mockmook

      “If you don’t have nice things to say, shut your f’king mouth.”

      Shouldn’t the same apply to your comment here?

  • mockmook

    If ENG beats GER that will be a very significant day for their program — people WILL take notice of that result.

    • john

      Third place match? Historically one team has just gone through the motions. I would take that result with a grain of salt.

      • mockmook

        It would be significant because ENG doesn’t beat GER.

        So beating them for 3rd place in a WWC would be huge.

      • Steglitz49

        Germany never go through the motions.

  • Edmund Khoo

    The outcome of a game is decided by who scores more goals, so why is there so much pointless talk about who created more opportunities or had better luck? 2 controversial penalties were awarded. The only difference is that Japan did not cheat to get their spot-kick – England did. Steph Houghton brought us shame by diving so blatantly in front of the cameras.

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s trust that the ref on Sunday is up to the task.

  • Craigaroo

    There is some pretty shocking bigotry going on in some parts of the comment section here, which apparently is passing by most of you unaware. I’m not asking for anyone’s comments to be deleted or censored; I’m not asking for a moderator to “take my side” and delete some of the posts below. But I want to point it out and also point out that it also shocks me that the normally judgmental and somewhat moralistic crowd here (as we tend to be on an Internet forum) is choosing to ignore some real ugliness and quite frankly choosing to give it a free pass. Some of you (like NYRick) have even given it the thumbs-up. Now I know people here are not bad people – just ordinarily quarrelsome – so I assume that you are shying away from a quarrelsome subject for a variety of reasons – you’re onto other articles such as ones focused on the USA team, but also because you’re conditioned to respond to bigotry when it’s against cerain targets of bigotry – blacks, for example, or Jews, gays…. Faced with bigotry against Japanese, I suspect most of you are simply unprepared. But let this be a little lesson to some of us – tht we may be decent people, well-meaning people, people who even think they speak out against the wrongs of the world and yet… there is so much that we will let pass. I guess I’m asking that it be a lesson of Know Thyself. That and something about the human condition.

    • mockmook

      I think you are overstating the uniqueness of this ignored “slur”.

      People routinely say and write things about the German’s mentality, African’s speed, French “softness”, etc.

      Yes, it is a stereotype, but Japanese being labeled “sly” isn’t the worst thing in the world.

      Still, I’m certainly all for individuals being labeled by their individual traits and not by some group (real or imaginary) trait.

      • Craigaroo

        This is more than the normal comments about playing talents and abilities. This was about being classless . I’m glad you’re willing to engage the topic, but, seriously, as a fan of women’s soccer, do you believe the Japanese women are “classless”? Is this really something you want being said about them? Like I said earlier, it’s a sin. It’s a sin, Mr Finch , and I won’t have it on my hands.

        • Steglitz49

          Imagine what would happen if the Nadeshiko were to prevail in the final (unlikely though it is)?

          Your point is well taken and thank you for making it. The commentators on the EQ to their eternal shame, are never willing to give credit to or praise the Nadeshiko. That evening in FF seems to have cut through bones and sinews and gone to the marrow.

        • mockmook

          “Classless” was only being used regarding these particular JAP players, so it’s either true or false, not a racial slur.

  • Les_Bleus

    Japan got their penalty after Claire Rafferty pushed Saori Ariyoshi down using both hands. Steph Houghton deceived the ref to get our penalty. Let us call a spade a spade.