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FIFA orders Japan-N. Korea qualifier be held in neutral country

Eisuke

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FIFA orders Japan-N. Korea qualifier be held in neutral country

FIFA, international soccer's governing body, has ordered North Korea to play its June World Cup qualifying match against Japan in a neutral country without any spectators as punishment for violent fan behavior.

FIFA made the decision at a disciplinary committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday. It will be the first time Japan has participated in a World Cup qualifying match without spectators.

In addition to being stripped of the right to hold the qualifier in Pyongyang, North Korea's punishment included a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs (about 1.8 million yen). North Korea has three days to appeal against the punishment.

The soccer body is thought to have made the decision to protect the players and referees. FIFA officials said the decision was made following two matches in Pyongyang.

In North Korea's match with Iran on March 30, fans threw bottles and other objects onto the pitch after a North Korean player who protested against a decision was ordered off the field. After the match, the Iranian players and the referees were shut inside the stadium for about one hour, and spectators surrounded their bus.

FIFA also said problems had erupted in North Korea's match against Bahrain on the 25th. North Korean officials said they would consider a response.

Japan Football Association President Saburo Kawabuchi said the decision was tough.

"It was a tough decision that exceeded expectations," he said. "We must be fully aware that when fans create trouble and threaten the safety of players and referees, then this sort of punishment is handed out." (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, April 30, 2005)

http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20050430p2a00m0dm001000c.html


I think that's what north-korea got coming to them after such behaviour during football matches. Answerbag Resource Busy -- Start a conversation. Have some fun.
 
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