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Football association expels ex-Nichidai coaches over dirty tackle furor

Kantoh Collegiate Football Association officials apologize at a press conference announcing the severest punishment for two former Nihon University American football coaches on May 29, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The Kantoh Collegiate Football Association on May 29 announced it has decided to expel two former coaches of Nihon University (Nichidai)'s American football team over a linebacker's dirty tackle against a Kwansei Gakuin University quarterback in a May 6 game.

The punishment slammed on ex-head coach Masato Uchida and ex-assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue is the harshest the association can deliver.

The association also punished another coach, Taku Mori, by stripping him of all his credentials, while suspending the offending Nichidai player, Taisuke Miyagawa, and his team from official games for the rest of fiscal year ending March 2019.

In this May 23, 2018 photo, former head coach of Nihon University's American football team, Masato Uchida, right, and former coach Tsutomu Inoue, respond to questions at a news conference in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

Miyagawa tackled Kwansei quarterback Kosei Okuno from behind after he had released the ball, causing the victim to suffer injuries diagnosed to take three weeks to heal. Okuno has since returned to the field.

Uchida and Inoue have denied that they specifically instructed Miyagawa to injure the Kwansei player, though the player accused them of telling him to "crush" the opposing team's quarterback. The victim's family filed a complaint with police over the tackle and investigators have begun questioning Nichidai officials. The university has faced tough public criticism for its handling of the case.


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