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Japanese Football Association Head Supports Penalties Against N. Korea

The head of Japan's football association says he supports the International Football Federation's penalties against North Korea for fan misbehavior.

However, Saburo Kawabuchi says he hopes that FIFA will not schedule his country's June 8 World Cup qualifier against North Korea in China.

Friday, FIFA ordered North Korea to play the match in an empty stadium at a neutral venue because of fan misbehavior at two matches in Pyongyang in March. FIFA also fined the North Koreans nearly $17,000.

The world governing body said the match would be played at a neutral venue, but did not announce the stadium. Japan does not want to play the match in China because of recent political tensions between the two countries and because of a past record of fan trouble in Chinese stadiums.

FIFA is expected to announce the venue by early next week.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.