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FIFA order N.Korea to play Japan on neutral ground
Updated: 2005-04-30 00:10

North Korea have been ordered to play their next World Cup qualifying game against Japan at a neutral venue and behind closed doors after crowd trouble followed their defeat by Iran, FIFA said on Friday.

In a separate decision from FIFA's disciplinary committee meeting in Zurich, Iran have been ordered to play their next home game against North Korea on June 3 in a stadium with a maximum attendance of 50,000 spectators.

The Iran football association has also been fined 30,000 Swiss francs following incidents after the Iran-Japan match on March 26 when six fans were trampled to death leaving a 100,000 capacity ground.

North Korea's punishment, along with a 20,000 Swiss franc fine, was handed down after their 2-0 defeat to Iran on March 30 ended with home fans hurling bottles and chairs on to the pitch preventing the officials from leaving the field.

The violence spilled outside the stadium and Iran's players were stopped from boarding the team bus before riot police eventually cleared the crowd.

FIFA said it would announce the venue for the game with Japan on June 8 in due course.

Georgia must also play their next two home games without fans, against Ukraine on September 3 and Kazakhstan on October 8. Their football federation has been fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($4,200) for crowd trouble against Greece and Turkey in March.

Appeals must be lodged within three days, world soccer's ruling body said, although the Iranian FA has already told FIFA it will not be challenging the decision.

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