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South Korea women beat Japan in controversial Asian handball qualifier

1/29/2008

TOKYO -- South Korea defeated Japan 34-21 Tuesday in a
replay of a qualifying match for the women's handball tournament at
the Beijing Olympics.

They were the only two nations replaying Asian qualifiers initially held in September last year, when referees from Jordan
and Iran were brought in at the last minute by the Asian Handball
Federation to replace German referees.

Their disputed calls helped Kuwait win the men's tournament and
Kazakhstan the women's, qualifying them for August's Olympics in
Beijing.

In December, the International Handball Federation ordered
replays of the qualifiers. Japan can still qualify for the Olympics
through a final round of Asian qualifiers.

The AHF, headed by Kuwaiti prince Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad
Al-Sabah, has denied match-fixing and has said it will punish
countries taking part in the replays.

Japan's men's team will take on South Korea on Wednesday.

The IHF, in a recent letter to the Asian federation, declared it
is the "only body endorsing the results of the continental
qualifying tournaments for Olympic Games and World Championships."