Football in Japan

Security lax for first leg

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 October, 1996, 12:00am

Security is expected to be lax for tomorrow's Asian Cup Winners' Cup first leg quarter-final clash between South China and Grampus Eight as local officials expect a small crowd of only a few hundred.

Grampus Eight officials anticipate a crowd of only 500 for the match - in stark contrast to the 30,000 expected for the return leg clash at the Hong Kong Stadium on October 22.

Local match officials said tomorrow night's game is of little significance to Grampus Eight and that team bosses have targeted the domestic J.League as their main goal.

Hiroki Iwatsuki, assistant manager of the commercial department of Grampus Eight, said: 'Our team managers and coaches are not paying much attention to the Asian Cup Winners' Cup because they think the domestic tournaments are much more important.

'Our main goal is to win the J.League championship and everything else is secondary. If we were a weaker team then maybe we would take the Asian competitions more seriously.' Iwatsuki said the match will be played at the Nagarajawa Stadium which has a seating capacity of 27,000.

'We expect no more than 1,000 spectators at the most at the game. We would be happy if we had more spectators.' Iwatsuki said security would be the same as for any other domestic game and no precautionary security measures would be made in view of the Diaoyu Islands dispute. A security force of only 20 is expected at the game.

'If there's a small crowd turning up we will not be worried at all,' said South China coach Wong Man-wai.

'If only 500-600 spectators turn up, what could possibly happen to us? I'm sure there would be enough security at the stadium.

'We are not worried about our safety because we have come here to play football.'