Tough actions by Japan Football Association

The Japan Football Association has suspended referee Yoshitsugu Katayama until the end of this month alongwith two other match officials for an error in the Vissel Kobe-Kashiwa Reysol match which was played on Saturday, AFC Media reported. JFA said Katayama will not be named to referee J-League matches along with referees Hiroyuki Ajiki and Hisaharu Kitamura. Katayama showed Kashiwa midfielder Ryo Kobayashi his second yellow card and sent him off for time-wasting after the player took too long leaving the pitch to make way for substitute Harutaka Ono in the 87th minute. But Katayama allowed Ono to replace Kobayashi and play the rest of the match even though he had just given Kobayashi the red card. Kashiwa won the match 1-0, drawing an official protest from Vissel which was rejected by the JFA.

Meanwhile, Toshimitsu Yoshida, who has been suspended from officiating in AFC and FIFA matches for a serious mistake in the Asian zone World Cup playoff between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on 3 September, officiated in the Nabisco Cup semi-final between Yokohama F Marinos and Gamba Osaka. He was refereeing in place of Kiyoshi Ota who however pulled out because of an injury.

The J-League has also slapped a 10 million yen (around $100,000) on FC Tokyo for crowd trouble during a July league match in which one of its supporters was arrested. FC Tokyo, the J-League said, failed to provide adequate security at the July 9 league match against Tokyo Verdy at the Ajinomoto Stadium, where three Tokyo Verdy staffers suffered injuries in a clash between rival supporters. The fine matches the highest ever handed to a J-League club for crowd trouble.