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Thursday, 19th June 2008
In Sports,

Japan striker Okubo given three-match ban

Japanese footballer Yoshito Okubo has been handed a three-match suspension for violent conduct during a World Cup qualifier in June.

The Japan Football Association announced that the striker would receive the ban after he kicked Oman's goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi in the second half of the 1-1 draw. He was subsequently sent off.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the suspension includes Japan's qualifier against Thailand last Saturday which it won 3-0.

Fifa, football's world governing body, has also fined the Japanese Football Association 5,000 Swiss francs (£485) for the player's misconduct.

Okubo was a member of the Japanese 2004 Olympic team and is currently contracted to J League Division 1 side Vissel Kobe, for whom he scored 14 goals last season.

Japan is due to play Bahrain on Sunday (June 22nd) in what will be the final fixture of third-round qualifying. Both teams have already secured their place in the final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup which will take place in South Africa.