5 days before trip to Pyongyang canceled’ baffled Japanese coach “I don’t know how it will unfold”

‘Unprecedented! North Korea cancels Pyongyang just five days before the final!

Japan’s “Samurai Blue” national soccer team is reacting to North Korea’s surprise cancellation of a World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang with bewilderment.

Japan held on to Ao Tanaka’s goal in the second minute of the first half of the third Group B qualifier against North Korea to win 1-0 at Tokyo National Stadium on Nov. 21. The Japanese media was stunned by the decision to cancel the trip to North Korea, which was announced by the head of the country’s soccer association directly after the game.

“This morning, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) suddenly contacted me,” said Japan Football Association (JFA) President Kozo Tajima, “and I received a letter from North Korea stating that it is difficult to hold the match in Pyongyang.” “The Japan national team’s 2026 FIFA Confederations Cup Asia Second Qualifying Group B match, scheduled to be played at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, will not be held in Pyongyang,” he said. Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported, “The World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang has been canceled. North Korea has communicated its intention,” the news agency reported. North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that a “virulent infectious disease is spreading in Japan,” and North Korea reportedly cited the reason for the cancellation as a “precautionary measure against the spread of the extremely virulent hemolytic streptococcus infection, which is increasingly being reported in Japan.

The team was scheduled to leave for Beijing on the 22nd, the day after the home game, and arrive in Pyongyang before the 25th to play the away game on the 26th. When asked about this at the press conference following the victory, Japan A head coach 토토사이트 Hajime Moriyasu smiled bitterly. “We can only prepare as best we can for what has already been decided,” he said, “We accept the current situation and don’t know how it will unfold, but for now we will focus on the recovery of the players who have accumulated fatigue and those who played today.” “We don’t know where we will be able to play, but we will try to recover in the given environment and adjust our physical condition for the next game.”

North Korean coach Shin Young-nam was also asked by reporters, “There are reports that Pyongyang is difficult to host. When asked what information he had, the North Korean coach was reticent, saying, “I won’t comment on what will happen in the future.”

Japanese soccer publication Soccer Digest headlined its article, “Unprecedented, Pyongyang canceled just five days before the final…

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