Tokyo (AFP) - Former Japan international Masakiyo Maezono was released by police on Monday after spending a night in jail for allegedly punching and kicking a taxi driver while intoxicated.
The 39-year-old Maezono, who now plies his trade as a TV sports commentator, reached a settlement with the driver early Monday, his management office said in a press release.
Maezono, who will not be charged over the incident, bowed his head deep and apologised for the violence at a news conference after his release.
"It was shameful that I got drunk and inflicted violence on the driver although I cannot remember what has happened," Maezono said. "I did what I should not do even if I was drunk."
He was arrested on the spot Sunday when he assaulted the driver, who had chased him down for the fee after he got out of the taxi near his home and refused to pay, according to media reports.
He had been drinking since Saturday evening after appearing at a live TV sports programme, the reports said.
Maezono scored four goals in his 19 international matches between 1994 and 1997. He was the captain of Japan's under-23 team when they beat star-studded Brazil at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.He played for J-League sides Yokohama Flugels and Tokyo Verdy from 1992-1998 before his brief stints at Brazil's Santos and Goias until 1999. He ended his playing career at South Korea's Incheon United in 2004.