North Korea cancels World Cup qualifier against Japan

Last-minute decision on Tuesday’s match leaves football bodies searching for alternative venue

North Korea has abruptly cancelled its 2026 World Cup qualifying match with Japan next week, leaving organisers frantically searching for an alternative venue.

North Korea reportedly decided it would no longer host the match, which had been scheduled for next Tuesday at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, a day before the teams met in Tokyo on Thursday in the first of their two Asian qualifying Group B qualifiers.

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