“North Korea fined just 15 million won?” FIFA discipline ‘questionable’… “I’ll pay 10 times more, I won’t repeat” despite 0-3 forfeit loss

Japan questions North Korea’s mild fine.

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officially announced on Wednesday that it has decided to fine the North Korean Football Association 10,000 Swiss francs (approximately $15 million). In addition to the fine, FIFA also handed 안전카지노사이트 North Korea a “0-3 forfeit” of its match against Japan.

North Korea lost 0-1 to Japan at Tokyo’s National Stadium on June 21 in the third match of Group B of the Asian second qualifying round for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026. The fourth match was scheduled to take place five days later on June 26 at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. However, North Korea unilaterally informed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Nov. 20 that the match would have to be moved, saying it would be difficult to play in Pyongyang. The AFC decided that it would be difficult to hold the match in a neutral location and eventually canceled the match. FIFA then fined and forfeited the match to North Korea.

“North Korea has been fined, but this will happen again,” Japan’s Tokyo Sports reported on March 3. “North Korea has avoided severe punishment such as suspension. The fine was only a minor one. Fans also questioned FIFA’s leniency,” it said.

One Japanese man told the media, “The fine is weak. I expected it to be 15 million won to 10 times that amount. As long as the punishment is weak, North Korea will continue to repeat this wrongdoing. “The lenient punishment for North Korea will continue to be controversial,” said Tokyo Sports, which reported the Japanese reaction.

The forfeit makes it much more difficult for North Korea to qualify for the World Cup in North and Central America. In Group B, Japan topped the group with 12 points from four matches to secure the final qualification spot. In second place is Syria with two wins, one draw, and one loss (7 points), followed by North Korea in third (1-3-3-3). It’s unlikely that North Korea will be able to beat both Syria and Myanmar in their remaining two games.

North Korea has not explained the reason behind its decision to suspend the games. Japanese media speculated that North Korea made the decision for quarantine reasons due to the recent increase in streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) in Japan. It is assumed to be drunk. Not only Japan, but also South Korea is on high alert for the spread of STSS infections.

North Korea’s national soccer team coach Shin Young-nam has been extremely reticent about the issue. “We’ll see how the situation develops, and I don’t want to comment (on the issue) here,” he said at a post-match press conference on Nov. 21 against Japan.

Japan’s head coach Hajime Moriyasu expressed his disappointment with the cancellation of the trip to North Korea, saying, “We missed the opportunity to correct the problems that were exposed in the last match against North Korea. It’s also unfortunate that we lost the opportunity to field more players.”

Japan’s veteran defender Yuto Nagatomo was also upset. According to Japan’s Daily Sport, Nagatomo said, “It’s hard to say because I don’t really know the situation. But not being able to play in Pyongyang is a big deal for Japan. My motivation is the same. I just want to play with a positive attitude.”

Takefusa Kubo added: “I heard a little while ago that the match between North Korea and Japan is difficult. I don’t know what will happen, but Japan must move forward until the venue is decided for sure.”

Meanwhile, North Korea lost 0-1 to Japan in their third Group B match of the second Asian qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA World Cup North America at the Tokyo National Stadium on Sept. 21.

Japan fielded a full European side on the day. Takumi Minamino (AS Monaco), Doan Ritsu (Freiburg), Daizen Maeda (Celtic), Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord), and Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf) were all in the attack and back line.

The Europeans shared the opening goal with Japan just two minutes into the match. Doan laid the ball low down the right flank for Tanaka to finish with his right foot and rattle the net. Despite the promising start, Japan’s attacks were repeatedly blocked. After conceding the goal, North Korea focused on defense and looked to counterattack.

Early in the second half, the North Koreans had no luck, as Han Kwang-sung’s shot hit the post. Paek Cheong-song slotted home the rebound, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul on the previous play.

Japan brought on Wataru Endo (Liverpool), Takuma Asano (Bochum), and Koki Ogawa (NEC Nijmegen) after the midway point of the second half in search of an additional goal, but were unable to break through North Korea’s tight defense. They managed to hold on to their one-goal lead until the end to secure the three points.

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