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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Australian team taking 'appropriate precautions' as qualifier overshadowed by North Korean missile

The Socceroos are in Japan for Thursday’s World Cup clash.

Image: Xinhua

AUSTRALIA ARE CURRENTLY in Tokyo as they prepare for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Japan.

But, the fixture has been overshadowed by North Korea’s testing of a ballistic missile.

Early on Tuesday morning, the weapon was fired over the northern part of Japan and spent two minutes above the mainland before it crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

It led to inevitable chaos as millions of Japanese received text messages warning them that a missile had been launched and to ‘take cover’.

Subsequently, the Japanese prime minister – Shinzo Abe – has described the entire incident as a “serious and grave threat”.

As a result, the Socceroos’ pending game has come into focus.

A spokesperson for the Australian football federation said ‘appropriate precautions’ were in place.

“When overseas and wherever necessary Socceroos management liaises with Australian government representatives on matters of security,” they added.

Japan, who currently lead Group B by a single point, can assure themselves of a place in Russia next summer with victory on Thursday but defeat could prove costly as they must face second-placed Saudi Arabia in their final fixture.

Australia are currently in third place but have a seemingly straightforward final-round clash against Thailand so remain in good shape to qualify.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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