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Omiya Ardija president Watanabe to resign after inflating crowd numbers

Omiya Ardija president Seigo Watanabe will resign from his post at the J-League after admitting to inflating attendance figures over the past three years.

An internal J-League investigation found that Omiya had added on an extra 110,000 to their total attendance numbers since November 2007, when they moved into a new stadium.

J-League chief Kazumi Ohigashi said it was a very embarrassing day for the competition.

"I am angry," Ohigashi said. "This damages the credibility of the entire J-League. It just cannot happen.

"The actions of a single club ruin the efforts of the 36 other clubs who are working hard to bring in as many fans as possible."

Mitsuo Hashimoto, president of Omiya's rivals Urawa Reds added: "The J-League as a whole will have to prove it has corrected what needs correcting. The other clubs will have to demonstrate they are doing things the right way."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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