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Japan book World Cup place, China win while Koreans draw with Iran

Jason Dasey and David Mitchell recap Australia's defeat to Japan and evaluate the Socceroos' prospects for qualifying.
Japan qualified for their sixth straight World Cup following their 2-0 win over Australia.
Australia's Jackson Irvine credits Japan's game plan and still feels Australia can qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Japan booked their berth at next year's World Cup finals as Vahid Halilhodzic's side handed Australia a 2-0 defeat on Thursday evening that guarantees the Samurai Blue top spot in Group B of Asia's qualifying campaign for Russia 2018.

Takuma Asano gave the Japanese the lead four minutes before the half-time break when he was left unmarked to slide Yuto Nagatomo's cross beyond Mat Ryan to put Japan in front after Mathew Leckie had earlier hit the post for the Socceroos.

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Qatar fined for breaching rules against political statements

Qatar t-shirts
Qatari players displayed T-shirts of the country's Emir before a recent World Cup qualifier.

ZURICH -- FIFA has fined Qatar's football federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country's Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar's players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South...

Al Ahly coach suspended for snubbing Qatari reports at new conference

An Egyptian coach was suspended on Thursday for refusing to give interviews to a Qatar-based television network and attempting to boycott a news conference where the network's journalists were present.

After finally giving in and agreeing to attend the news conference, the coach covered the station's microphone with his hand to try and block the recording, the Confederation of African Football said when announcing his punishment.

Hossam el-Badry, coach of Egyptian club Al Ahly and a former Egypt...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Singapore SEA Games hopefuls' steep learning curve on Qatar tour

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts discuss Singapore's future following consecutive defeats against Chinese Taipei and Argentina.

Singapore's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hopefuls have returned home after a tough trip to Doha where they were outplayed by their Qatari opponents.

The Singapore U22 side lost 3-0 last Thursday before falling to a 2-0 defeat on Saturday night, as they worked on combinations and physical conditioning, ahead of August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Before that, Singapore will head to Myanmar for AFC U23 qualification matches, with the top 16 teams heading to the 2018 tournament in China next January.

With...

 By PA Sport

'Business as usual' for Qatar World Cup organisers despite crisis

The diplomatic crisis that has left Qatar at odds with its Gulf neighbours has had "no impact'' on the country's preparations for the 2022 World Cup, according to a source close to the organisers.

In a coordinated move last week, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with the small but rich peninsula, denying it access to their airspace and closing Qatar's only land border with Saudi Arabia.

Long annoyed by Qatar's oil-and-gas wealth and ambitions to play a much...