Reims reacts to the accusation of sexual assault against their player

Japanese international winger Junya Ito, who is currently competing in the Asian Cup, is under investigation in his country for alleged sexual assault on two women.

Reims reacts to the accusation of sexual assault against their player Embed from Getty Images

Reims, the current sixth-ranked team in Ligue 1, has issued a response following allegations of sexual assault against their player Junya Ito. 

The accusations surfaced in his home country of Japan while he is representing the national team in the Asian Cup. This development has led to the initiation of a police investigation into the matter.

In a statement, the club expressed its unwavering support for the 30-year-old winger while emphasizing the need for concrete evidence to clarify the allegations. It is important to note that the reported incidents occurred outside of France, which limits the club's ability to provide direct input into the investigation.

The statement highlights that Junya Ito's personal qualities and conduct have never been questioned by the club. He remains a valued and active member of Stade de Reims. While awaiting the outcome of the judicial investigation to corroborate the reports in the media, the club acknowledges that it does not possess any information that can either support or contradict the ongoing inquiry conducted by the authorities in Osaka. At this juncture, the club's foremost stance is one of solidarity with their player.

However, Stade de Reims is determined not to remain passive or silent on such a significant issue. They are committed to addressing and fighting against all forms of violence against women, a commitment that has been reinforced through their partnership with the Professional Football League over several seasons. The club has announced its plans to launch a new awareness campaign during the current season, underscoring its dedication to promoting a culture of respect and equality.

According to reports in the Japanese media, the alleged incidents involved two women and took place in a hotel in Osaka in June 2023, following a match between Japan and Peru.

Junya Ito's legal representative has firmly stated to the Japanese news agency Kyodo that the accusations are entirely baseless. Meanwhile, the Japanese national football team's coach, Hajime Moriyasu, has disclosed that he has not yet had an opportunity to thoroughly review the matter.

As the investigation unfolds, the situation remains fluid, and Stade de Reims continues to stand by its player while advocating for a comprehensive and fair examination of the allegations. The club's commitment to combating violence against women is a significant part of their response to this serious matter, as they strive to contribute to a more respectful and equitable society.

Updated: 12:19, 1 Feb 2024

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