North Korean soccer suffers 0-3 forfeit loss to Japan…qualifies for Japan’s final qualifier

The fourth Group B match between North Korea and Japan at the FIFA Confederations Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 2026 North American Football Championship Asia Second Qualifying Round in Pyongyang, North Korea, which was scheduled to take place on June 26 but was canceled, has been declared a 0-3 forfeit for North Korea.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) officially announced on Tuesday, “We have been informed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee that the match scheduled to be held on the 26th of this month has been declared a 0-3 forfeit by 홀덤사이트 North Korea.”

With the result, Japan has won all four matches in Group B (12 points) and has qualified for the final qualifying round (third qualifying round) regardless of the outcome of the remaining two matches. North Korea, on the other hand, remains in third place with three points (1-3) and a goal difference of 0 (6 goals scored-6 goals conceded), four points behind second-placed Syria and in danger of being eliminated from the second round.

Earlier in the day, FIFA announced that North Korea had been referred to its disciplinary committee, stating, “The fourth match of the World Cup Asia 2018 Second Qualifying Round between North Korea and Japan scheduled to take place on June 26 has been canceled and will not be rescheduled or replayed.”

The match was originally scheduled to take place at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, but was unable to take place after North Korea unilaterally announced that the match would have to be moved to a neutral site due to unavoidable circumstances. Japanese media outlets, including Kyodo News, speculated that North Korea was concerned about the spread of the pandemic in Japan.

This led to speculation that the match would be played at a neutral site in a third country other than Pyongyang, but a new venue was reportedly not found as the game date approached. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) left open the possibility of a rescheduled rematch, but FIFA decided to cancel the match altogether and declare a forfeit for North Korea.

Japan, who defeated North Korea 1-0 at the Tokyo National Stadium on Nov. 21, had planned to travel to North Korea via China immediately after the game, but the team was forced to disband early when the match was canceled by North Korea.

“We were informed of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision early this morning Japan time,” said Japan Football Association president Tsuneyasu Miyamoto via the association, “I hope that head coach Hajime Moriyasu, his staff and players will continue to prepare well in order to qualify for the final World Cup. The Japan Football Association will certainly support them.”

“Although it is a loss of valuable playing time for the players, we are positive that we have taken a step forward,” said Hajime Moriyasu, head coach of the Japan national soccer team. “We will not be satisfied with (passing the second qualifying round), but will build up our strength until the June A match, the final World Cup qualifiers and the World Cup itself.”

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