Japan to advance In World Cup 2026 Qualifying After North Korea Game Cancelled

Japan are set to reach the final stage of qualifying for the Football World Cup 2026 without kicking a ball after FIFA announced that their match with North Korea will not be rescheduled.

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Abishek Goswami
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Japan to advance in World Cup 2026 Qualifying without playing the second leg against North Korea

Japan set to advance to the final stage of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2026

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Japan are all set to reach the final stage of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2026 without kicking a ball after FIFA said their match with North Korea will not be rescheduled. The match was set to take place on Tuesday in Pyongyang, but the North Korea qualifier was then called off with no explanation from the nation. Asian Football Confederation said the match is off and at the weekend FIFA announced that it "shall neither be played nor rescheduled. The matter and match outcome will be referred to the FIFA disciplinary committee."

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Japan to advance into the World Cup 2026

Japan beat North Korea 1-0 in Tokyo on Thursday to make it three wins from three in Asian qualifying Group B. Coach Hajime Moriyasu, who led Japan to the last 16 of the Qatar World Cup after knocking off Spain and Germany out, wanted to play North Korea game as it was an opportunity for them to make further improvements in their game.

"Unfortunately, we lost the opportunity to correct areas of concern and potential areas for improvement that came to light. We will aim to improve as a team based on what we have built so far," he said on Friday.

Japan had a beautiful run in the 2022 Qatar World Cup but the final glory never came. They are trying to head into the upcoming World Cup as more prepared than ever and for that, the North Korea FIFA World Cup Qualifiers game was very important. They entered the AFC Asian Cup as the favourites but got knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals by Iran. So, they were hoping to improve their game before the time came. Japan will next face Myanmar and Syria in the second round of the qualifiers.

Football Fifa World Cup Japan FIFA World Cup Qualifiers FIFA World Cup 2026