Not Cool: Japan’s Women’s Olympics Soccer Team Flies Economy — Men’s Squad Flies First-Class
11:45 am, July 19th | by Amy Tennery
The Japanese women’s soccer squad is expected to perform extremely well in this year’s Olympic games. Some have even speculated that they could take home the gold. And after winning the World Cup last year, the team has achieved a certain celebrity status. Bottom line: They rock.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re good enough to fly first-class, according the Japanese Olympic officials. What?
Jaws dropped this week after a BBC reported that the women’s soccer team from Japan was assigned economy airline seats to this year’s Olympic games. What’s so bad about coach? Apparently Japan’s men’s soccer team got business-class seats. Awkward.
Of course, as the BBC pointed out, most of Japan’s teams were given coach seats, with a few exceptions, so it’s not as though the women’s soccer squad is alone here. But as Japan Real Time explained, it’s up to each individual sport’s governing body to decide whether it would like to upgrade its athlete’s tickets. In this case, the Japan Football Association decided to upgrade its men’s tickets, but not its women’s.
This is made all the worse when one considers the female soccer squad’s outlook at the Olympics, compared to the men’s squad’s relatively low expectations. The women’s team’s stature in the sport — and the fact that the men’s squad isn’t even expected to medal — it’s an extremely bizarre choice.