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Japan goalkeeper racially abused online after Asian Cup errors

Japan goalkeeper Zion Suzuki said Monday he was racially abused on social media following his team’s shock defeat to Iraq at the Asian Cup.

It comes after two instances of racist abuse directed at players in Italy and England during matches.

Suzuki, whose father is Ghanaian-American and mother Japanese, was at fault for Iraq’s opening goal in Doha, after also making mistakes in their previous game against Vietnam.

The 21-year-old said he accepted criticism of his performances but “would like people to stop making racist comments”.

“I’m not about to let it beat me,” he told reporters ahead of Japan’s final group game against Indonesia.

“I want to come back at them by producing good results.”

Comments appeared to have been disabled on Suzuki’s Instagram account on Monday.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for worldwide stadium bans for fans and “automatic forfeits” for teams whose supporters hurl racist abuse, following the incidents in Italy and England at the weekend.

Fans aimed monkey chants at France goalkeeper Mike Maignan during AC Milan’s dramatic 3-2 win at Udinese, with the game temporarily halted.

Coventry midfielder Kasey Palmer accused Sheffield Wednesday fans of doing the same to him during their Championship clash, which his team won 2-1 on Saturday.

Suzuki, who was winning only his sixth cap against Iraq, said he had no doubts about his ability as Japan prepare to face Indonesia on Wednesday with qualification for the last 16 still to be secured.

“I know that I’m being held to a higher standard as the goalkeeper of the Japan national team when I concede goals and we lose games,” he said.

“I accept that and if I can use that in the next game then there won’t be a problem.”

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