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Replays of Olympic Handball Qualifiers to Proceed

Posted January. 28, 2008 08:39,   


The Korean national handball team, which is fighting the Asian Handball Federation over replaying qualifiers for the Beijing Summer Olympics, arrived in Japan yesterday to begin training.

The women’s team led by Coach Lim Yeong-cheol went to a hotel near National Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, where the qualifiers will be replayed, and began orientation training in the afternoon.

The women will play their Olympic qualifier Tuesday evening and the men Wednesday.

The International Handball Federation allowed the replays after Korea and Japan protested the officiating at qualifiers held in August and September last year.

The Asian federation said it will not recognize the replays and has threatened to expel the two countries’ teams if they take part. Thus other Asian teams will not take part in the replays, with Korea and Japan to compete for the final tickets for the Olympics.

The Asian federation will hold a meeting Tuesday on expelling Korea and Japan as members. This move is interpreted as an attempt to nullify the replays by removing the two countries as members.

Yoshihide Watanabe, the head of Japan’s handball association and vice president of the Asian federation, will attend the meeting to fully back the disciplinary moves. Korea and Japan are also preparing to utilize sports diplomacy to fight the decision.