Regarding the incident during the match against Sagan Tosu  

Statements and actions liable to be interpreted as discriminatory were observed during today’s J. League 2nd Sec match between Urawa Reds and Sagan Tosu.

We sincerely apologise for the considerable distress and concern that this incident has caused for all who love and support Urawa Reds, everyone involved in the J. League and the entire sporting community.

As a club, Urawa Reds reinforced the SPORTS FOR PEACE! Project from the start of this season. To make our stadium a safer place, we have been appealing for everyone’s compliance and understanding with regard to six prohibited items (discriminatory remarks, violent behaviour, throwing things onto the pitch, damage to property, trespassing in prohibited areas and smoking in the stands).

Further to the club inquiry, we have now confirmed the following:

[The banner]
A member of club staff reported at about 17:00, on the basis of information received from security personnel and through social media, that a banner reading “JAPANESE ONLY” had been placed on the concourse side of Gate 209. The instruction to remove the banner was issued promptly at 17:09. Generally, however, in order to prevent further trouble, the removal of banners is only conducted by mutual consent with the cooperation of the parties involved. This incident occurred during the match, with the result that the club eventually only had the banner forcibly removed at 18:04.

The question of exactly when of the banner was put up is still being investigated. The party which raised the banner is being interviewed and the findings of this questioning will be reported in due course.

The club will, without fail, remove any such items which may be deemed discriminatory in future.

[Discriminatory remarks]
Members of club staff and security firm personnel were deployed on the pitch-side on the day of the match under the reinforcement of the SPORTS FOR PEACE! Project. They heard no discriminatory remarks during the match.

However, security firm personnel deployed in the stand did report afterwards that they had heard some discriminatory remarks during the match. The club will investigate the case to verify the facts of this report .

We are appealing for the cooperation of anyone who heard discriminatory remarks in the stadium to tell us about it at redsinfo@urawa-reds.co.jp.

[Message from the Club]
It is extremely regrettable that such an incident occurred during Urawa Reds’ first home match of the season despite our efforts to reinforce the SPORTS FOR PEACE! Project from this season. We extend our deepest apologies to all who love and support Urawa Reds and all who may have been offended by it. We will reflect deeply on this incident and do our utmost to act more promptly in the future.

This club categorically holds all discriminatory remarks and actions to be completely unacceptable. We are convinced that the most effective way to defeat discrimination is through the hearts and minds of each and every individual. As a club, we are making a dedicated effort to teach such awareness through the SPORTS FOR PEACE! Project.

The club takes this incident extremely seriously and will further reinforce its measures against all anti-social behaviour, including discriminatory remarks. We will introduce specific measures before our next home match. These will be reported in due course.

Urawa Red Diamonds

Regarding the incident during the match against Sagan Tosu