[html] The South Korean Men beat Japan 28-25 in Tokyo to directly qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games. Japan will still have a longshot opportunity in an Olympic Qualification tournament in May, but they will likely need to beat Russia or Croatia in order to place 2nd and qualify through that route.
Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets are starting to report on the controversy surrounding the replays. Reuters reports that the Asian Handball Federation (AHF) will meet next week to decide on whether to expel South Korea and Japan for taking part in the replay tournament and whether to appeal to the International Arbitration Council. AHF President, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Sabah, who is also head of the Olympic Council of Asia, has also reportedly threatened to derail Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Olympics as punishment. IOC President Jacque Rogge commented on the controversy yesterday saying that the IHF would not take sides in the dispute and that it should be resolved by the IHF’s rules for appeal.
On the positive side, the Korean Handball Movie, “Forever the Moment” could probably not have been released at a better time. Fed by the real world controversy the biopic on South Korea’s 2004 Women’s Team has been the top box office movie for 3 weeks.
Reuters Article: http://sport.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-7267279,00.html
Associated Press: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/wires/01/29/2080.ap.eu.spt.oly.handball.dispute.0410/index.html
Reuters Article on Korean Movie: http://uk.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKSEO10310020080130?pageNumber=3&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true [/html]