Japan men's team in business, women in economy

Japan men's team in business, women in economy

Published Jul. 19, 2012 5:11 a.m. ET

Japan's world champion women's soccer team has taken exception to flying economy while their male counterparts sat in business class on a flight to Europe for the Olympics.

The women's team was assigned seats in premium economy for the 13-hour flight to Paris while the nation's under-23 men's team was up front on the same flight.

''It should have been the other way around,'' 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese media after arriving in the French capital. ''Even just in terms of age we are senior.''

The Japan Football Association said the men fly business class to the Olympics because they are professionals.


The association upgraded the women's team to premium economy in recognition of their status as gold medal contenders. After winning the World Cup, Japan's women's team was upgraded to business class on its return flight from Germany. The JFA said Thursday that similar arrangements could be made if the team wins gold in London.