Junya Itō not selected for Japan following accusation of sexual assault

Junya Itō (31) has not been selected by Japan for the upcoming international break after an accusation of sexual assault. 

The winger who plays his club football for Stade de Reims has been accused by two women and is under investigation by the Osaka Police as they look into these claims. Itō denies these accusations and has filed a countersuit against the alleged victim and her witness accusing them of making false claims to the police. 

The news broke while Itō was representing Japan at the Asian AFC Cup and he was subsequently sent back to Reims during the middle of the tournament. The Japanese winger has subsequently not been called upon for the upcoming double-header against North Korea by the federation. 

The Japan manager, Hajime Moriyasu, explained his decision, “I tried to imagine what the climate around him in Japan would have been like, and I don’t think it would have allowed him to live and play football in peace.”

Reims have publically supported their player since the news broke on the 1st of February, the French club released a statement declaring that “At this stage and to date, [Reims] show solidarity with its player.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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