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N. Korean Team Sanctioned for Fan Violence at Football Matches Last Month

The International Football Federation FIFA has ordered North Korea's national football team to play its next game in a closed stadium at a neutral venue following fan violence at two matches in March.

The world governing body also fined the North Korean Soccer Association nearly $17,000. The venue for the June 8 match with Japan has not been named.

North Korean fans threw bottles and rocks onto the field during the Asian World Cup qualifying match March 30. Iran won the match, 2-0. Similar crowd trouble occurred in a match against Bahrain in Pyongyang.

FIFA also fined the Iranian football federation more than $25,000 for crowd disturbances after its March 26 match against Japan. Five people were crushed to death and 40 others injured in a stampede after the game. FIFA also set a crowd limit for Iran's next match at 50,000 spectators.

Also Georgia's football association was fined more than $4,000 and ordered to play its next two matches in an empty stadium after fans threw fireworks onto the field during two matches in March. All three federations have three days to appeal the punishments.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.