South Korea wins in disputed replay of team handball qualifier

Updated: January 30, 2008, 7:36 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- South Korea defeated Japan 28-25 on Wednesday in a replay of a qualifying match for the men'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.

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.

Only Japan and South Korea took part in the replays. South Korea's women's team defeated Japan on Tuesday to book a place in the Beijing Olympics.

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."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press