The match was scheduled to be held in Pyongyang

The second Asian qualifying match between North Korea and Japan for the 2026 FIFA North Korea-China World Cup will not be held on the scheduled date.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) officially announced on its website on the afternoon of the 22nd that “the second qualifying match for the North Korea-Japan World Cup, which was scheduled to be held on the 26th, will not be held as scheduled due to unexpected events.”

North Korea notified AFC on the 20th that the venue of the game should be moved to a neutral zone due to unavoidable circumstances.

The match was scheduled to be held in Pyongyang. Japan beat North Korea 1-0 in the third match held at the New National Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo on Wednesday. The two teams were scheduled to play the fourth match on Wednesday at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, according to the home-and-away method.

The specific reason for North Korea’s refusal to play at home is not known. Japan’s Kyodo News said, “A malicious epidemic is reported in North Korea,” adding, “It appears to be a quarantine measure to guard against Staphylococcus aureus toxic shock syndrome (STS) where the number of infected people is increasing in Japan.”

As the Pyongyang match was abruptly canceled, the Japanese national team disbanded early on. “As a result of discussions with FIFA through AFC, the second qualifying match for the World Cup scheduled on Wednesday will no longer take place in Pyongyang or in neutral zones,” the Japanese Football Association said on its website on Tuesday. “As a result of this decision, the Korean national team will end its A-match match between national teams activities on March 22. We will let you know what action will be taken on this match when it is confirmed later.” 토토사이트 추천

Some Japanese media predict their own forfeiture victory as it is not easy to organize additional games during the June A-match period if the schedule is postponed.