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Football: Japan wins by forfeit against North Korea during qualifying for the 2026 World Cup

Japan was notified by FIFA of its 3-0 victory in a qualifying match for the 2026 World Cup lost by forfeit by North Korea, its football federation said on Saturday, after the cancellation of the match by the North.

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Football: Japan wins by forfeit against North Korea during qualifying for the 2026 World Cup

Japan was notified by FIFA of its 3-0 victory in a qualifying match for the 2026 World Cup lost by forfeit by North Korea, its football federation said on Saturday, after the cancellation of the match by the North. Koreans. “The FIFA disciplinary committee informed us (Saturday) of its decision to forfeit this match due to the 0-3 defeat of North Korea,” explained the Japan Football Federation in a press release.

North Korea was due to host the qualifying match on Tuesday March 26 in Pyongyang, but five days before it took place, authorities abruptly declared that the isolated country could not host the match, without giving a reason. FIFA then announced that the qualifying match would not take place and would not be rescheduled, citing lack of space in the international football calendar.

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Japan beat North Korea 1-0 in Tokyo last week, making it three wins from three in Group B of the Asian qualifiers, which also includes Syria and Myanmar. Thanks to this success on the green carpet, Japan is assured of finishing in one of the first two places in its group and thus joins the final round of Asian qualifications for the 2026 World Cup, which will be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico. .

Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu stressed in the press release that “important competitive opportunities for the players have been lost. But I take this positively as a step forward,” added Moriyasu, who took Japan to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar after victories over Spain and Germany. “We will strengthen ourselves for the last qualifying round and the World Cup,” he assured.

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