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Media's Pawns
People like me frequently scavenge the media for tidbits to remark upon. I thought that since we have a couple days before the start of the J season and a couple weeks before the WC qualifier games start up again, this would be a nice time to reflect on the way media presents its news to us and the pitfalls of information transfers across multi-languages/countries.

First, this is a beauty from the Chinese press (see
article in Chinese) . The content is pretty much normal fare, a report by atakeda.jpg Chinese journalist on meeting and interviewing with Japan's King Kazu (Kazu Miura) who is now supposedly a journalist after spending his post-playing days in football-related endeavors off the pitch. Huh? Isn't Kazu still playing with Vissel Kobe in the J.League? But after taking a look at the photo provided along with the article, you'll see that it isn't Kazu at all, but another former JapanNT Nobuhiro Takeda, who is indeed currently a journalist and tv persona. Not only did this reporter fail to check the NAME of the person he was interviewing (perhaps he thought it was rude to ask someone so famous to identify himself) but apparently the agency did not bother to double check their facts...

This one from the
Asian Football website discusses Koji Nakata's transfer to French Ligue1 club Olympique de Marseille.
In it they highlight a quote from Nakata: "Nakata said that if he were to prove a success he would do no end of good for the name of Marseille in Japan. 'If I succeed here, Marseille's name will resonate louder in my country,' he promised." cont'd
The funny thing about this quote is that it is not only taken out of context, but has also been translated twice -- first from Japanese to French, and then to English. The quote is actually a part of an answer he gave to a question about whether the huge Japanese media attention he's had to endure upon his arrival in Marseille puts any added pressure on him. His full answer was that no, it was not pressure, on the contrary it is an opportunity to at least introduce the name of Marseille to Japanese fans, and if he were to succeed in Marseille, that would help spread the name further. <--This, of course, is an English translation of the French interview translation (I have yet to find his actual Japanese answers.) Oi, oi! So, though the translation is more or less correct, the attitude with which he stated it is not quite accurate. Koji Nakata is probably one of the most solidly composed Japanese players, someone who never makes egoistical statements naturally or allows pride or frustration to influence his demeanor. Of course, without the original Japanese statement, I can't be sure exactly what he said.

Here's a real leaper from Sanspo News, where the reporter takes Zico's reply to a question, and then sensationalizes the quote by speculating whether Zico meant it as a threat/insult to the North Korean team. At the press conference, the original question was 'at tomorrow's game (against Kazakhstan), in both offense and defense, on what areas will the team be concentrating?' His reply as originally translated at the interview was 'Unlike in the old days, right now we don't think which player is defense, which is offense. The entire team has to cooperate on both fronts; when it is time to defend we have to cooperate to block off space from the opponent and retake the ball. For this not only do the defenders have to think about what to do but also the people up front have to think about what they can do.' <-- this is of course my rough translation of a Japanese translation of original Portuguese statement. This 'unlike in the old days' sort of became a runaway train, and the article from Sanspo basically said that it was Zico's dig at North Korean football, claiming that it was stuck in the ice ages, etc. When I first read this, I thought it was quite ridiculous, because I think Zico is pretty clueless about NK football to begin with, and the comment was in reply to the misconception by reporters/public that offense and defense are separate animals. The really funny thing about this whole to-do was that if you look at the press conference transcript now, the 'unlike the old days' comment has been deleted. It could be that the expression was borne at the point of translation -- the translator having to sum up Portuguese expressions and Zico's intent within a matter of seconds. However, again, it's difficult to say what he meant and who he meant it about. Still, I think this article was quite silly.

I'm sure many of you had heard that prior to the North Korea game, there was a fuss made in the Japanese media about (Bundesliga) Naohiro Takahara's response to news that he was going to be starting the game on the bench. The takahara.jpgarticles quoted him as saying 'I don't want to go if I'm not going to start'. There were many types of responses by fans -- some were insulted and angry, some thought Taka had a right to make such a statement. When Zico was asked about Taka's comment, his response was 'Is that really what he said? I can't say anything until I hear directly from him. Anyway, this type of attitude is something I expect all players feel towards playing.' It later came to light that Takahara did say something to that effect, but it was stated before any announcement was made by Zico regarding his starting lineup for the NK game. When Takahara arrived at NT training, he and Nakamura were able to have a meeting with Zico where both sides were able to make their hopes and intentions clear. In other words, the media baited Takahara, got a comment, and then turned and tried to bait Zico (where they failed), and everything kinda died down. After the NK game, Takahara was on Sporto tv show and made a statement regarding the whole media fiasco saying that he was upset to learn of how the media handled it; that if you understood the enormous respect he has for the NT and the World Cup (Takahara was unable to play at WC02 due to illness) you would never think twice that he would say such a thing.

Anyway, the news is full of silly incidents like this. It's entertaining, sure, and I tend to fall into a bad habit of reacting to every bit of information; however, given what I've seen even recently, I'll try and gain as much info as I can before I make any quick judgments. (I'll try, I say!)

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