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J-League club Gamba Osaka fined for fans' banner with swastika-like logo

Gamba Osaka fans
Gamba Osaka fans landed their side in hot water.

TOKYO -- The J-League fined first division side Gamba Osaka $17,500 on Thursday after a group of supporters displayed a banner with a logo resembling a Nazi symbol during a match last month.

The banner, which resembled a symbol derived from the SS of Nazi Germany, was displayed at the team's April 16 match away to crosstown rivals Cerezo Osaka.

After the incident, Gamba said that members of the group have been banned from games indefinitely.

Kawasaki Frontale was fined $15,000 last week by the Asian...

 By John Duerden

Takefusa Kubo makes Tokyo FC debut, hailed as the Japanese Messi

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts recap the big wins for Japan, South Korea and Iran in AFC World Cup qualifying.
Takefusa Kubo makes debut for FC Tokyo
Takefusa Kubo, right, made his FC Tokyo senior debut in a Japanese cup game on Wednesday.

Thailand, Iran and South Korea are Asian nations who have their own versions of Lionel Messi, however misguided the comparison. And now, Japan have joined the club. Hopes are high that Takefusa Kubo will shine brighter than any Japanese player in history.

In terms of media attention, he is already on his way. Still only 15, he made his senior debut in midweek for FC Tokyo in a cup game against Consadole Sapporo. becoming the second youngest rookie in J.League history after Takayuki Morimoto in 2004.

It...

 By Paul Murphy

Maya Yoshida wishes Chanathip well on move to Japan from Thailand

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts recap the big wins for Japan, South Korea and Iran in AFC World Cup qualifying.
Jason Dasey and Stanely Bernard discuss Thailand's future after winning their record fifth AFF Cup.

SAITAMA -- Japan centre-back Maya Yoshida hopes Chanathip Songkrasin can help lift Thai football to greater heights after the Muang Thong United playmaker joins J.League side Consadole Sapporo in July.

Southampton man Yoshida was on target in the Samurai Blue's 4-0 victory over Thailand in Tuesday's Group B 2018 World Cup qualifier in Saitama. Despite the scoreline, the defender was not impressed by his side's performance. Yet he found the time to give Chanathip -- fondly known as "Messi J" across...

 By John Duerden

Iran, Japan and South Korea victorious in AFC World Cup qualifiers

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts recap the big wins for Japan, South Korea and Iran in AFC World Cup qualifying.

Iran moved to within a single victory of the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over China in front of 100,000 fans at the Azadi Stadium.

Medhi Taremi's goal early in the second half broke stiff Chinese resistance and put Carlos Queiroz's men on 17 points from seven games in the third round of qualification with three games left to play. With the top two from Group A and B heading to Russia next summer, Iran are now within touching distance of the finals.

Zeng Cheng was a busy man in the...