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In Japan, complaints about the level of disciplinary action

The North Korean soccer team, which unilaterally canceled a match that was scheduled to be held in Pyongyang, North Korea, has been fined following its forfeiture. However, there seems to be a voice of discontent in Japan over the amount of the fine.

FIFA announced on its website on Monday (local time) that it has imposed a penalty of 10,000 Swiss francs on the North Korean Football Association for refusing to host the fourth Group B match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying round against Japan. It is another disciplinary withdrawal following the 0-3 forfeiture of the match.

Originally, the fourth game between North Korea and Japan was scheduled to be held at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, on the 26th of last month, but it was unclear whether it would be held or not as North Korea unilaterally informed it that the venue of the game should be moved due to unavoidable circumstances. Japanese media, including Kyodo News, predicted that North Korea canceled its home hosting due to concerns about the spread of infectious diseases in Japan.

As a result, it was predicted that the match between the two teams would be held in a neutral area of a third country, not Pyongyang, but it was reported that it did not find a new stadium with the game day imminent. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) left open the possibility of a re-match, which has been rescheduled, but FIFA decided to cancel the match between the two teams altogether.

FIFA canceled the fourth round of the second Asian qualifying round for the World Cup between North Korea and Japan. The two teams will not be rescheduled or re-run, announcing the North Korean Football Association’s referral to the disciplinary committee. Since then, the Japanese Football Association officially announced on Thursday that it had been informed by FIFA’s disciplinary committee that it would declare the North’s 0-3 forfeiture, confirming the North’s forfeiture.

“I was informed of the decision by the FIFA Discipline Committee early this morning (on the 30th of last month) in Japanese time,” Tsunayasu Miyamoto, president of the Japan Football Association, said at the time through the association. “Now, I hope Coach Hajime Moriyasu, staff and players will continue to prepare well to play in order to overcome the final qualifying round for the World Cup. I will definitely support the Japan Football Association as well.”

However, there are voices of discontent in Japan over the amount of fines imposed on the North Korean Football Association. Earlier, the Japanese national team had planned to enter North Korea via China after winning 1-0 in the third match against North Korea held at the National Stadium in Tokyo, but the team was disbanded early after the game was canceled due to North Korea’s notification.

Soccer media Soccer Digest said, “There were many voices of dissatisfaction on social media because the fines against the North Korean Football Association were too small. There were not a few fans who were not convinced of the amount of fines,” and conveyed Japanese fans’ voices, saying, “The level of fines is too low even though they caused inconvenience to the other country with selfish behavior.”

Meanwhile, due to North Korea’s forfeiture and defeat, Japan won all four Group B matches (12 points) and confirmed its advance to the Asian qualifying round (third qualifying round), regardless of the results of the remaining two matches. On the other hand, North Korea is on the verge of being eliminated from the second qualifying round as it ranked third with three points (1 win, three losses) and zero difference (6 points, six goals lost), four points behind second-place Syria. 토토사이트

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