Jakarta. The Japanese team to the Asian Games has punished its four basketball players for hiring prostitutes and sent them home on Monday (20/08).
The incident reportedly happened after a game against Qatar on Thursday, the Japanese team chief Yasuhiro Yamashita said at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday afternoon.
"This is a disciplinary issue and we decided to withdraw their accreditation and send them back early this morning. I apologize to all Japanese people for this matter. Athletes should be role models of society, not only in the sporting venues but also on other occasions," Yamashita said.
The four players are Yuya Nagayoshi (27), Takuya Hashimoto (23), Takuma Sato (23) and Keita Imamura (22). They wore their team's uniforms during the visit to Jakarta's red-light district.
"I am sorry for the matter and I leave the case to the Japan NOC [National Olympic Committee]," Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah told reporters in Jakarta.
Japan men's basketball team is currently second in the Group C in the preliminary stage, after winning against Taiwan and Qatar last week.
Additional reporting by Reuters.