Japan player awarded medal for missing penalty

Japanese defender Yuichi Komano was unfortunate enough to miss his spot kick in the round-of-16 shootout with Paraguay (costing a certain DT blogger a lot of money in his office sweepstake - just sayin'), but he now has a precious metal-based consolation. Take it away Yahoo! Sports:

The governor of Komano's native Wakayama prefecture told Japanese media on Friday he wanted to present Komano with the medal for his efforts in South Africa.

"We would like to present Komano with a medal for giving people such dreams and emotions," said Yoshinobu Nisaka Wakayama, who watched Japan's penalty shootout defeat by Paraguay at a public viewing area with Komano's mother.

It's a sweet gesture from the Japanese government, and in light of the fact that World Cup defeat has so far resulted in team suspensions, political interference, shamefully canceled public appearances and cyberbullying, it's certainly a refreshing reaction.

[Photos: The emotional reaction of Yuichi Komano after his penalty kick miss]

And it may also explain another unusual incident. When naughty hotel staff were caught stealing underwear and money from the England team last week, it emerged that the thieves had also taken a "medal awarded by FIFA". No one could figure out why an England player would be in possession of such a prize in South Africa, but now it has become clear: apparently medals are being given out for abject failure.

Image: Getty

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