Protests force Lebanon-NKorea game into empty stadium

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              Anti-government protesters clash with riot police on a road leading to the parliament building in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Scuffles have broken out in central Beirut as hundreds of anti-government protesters tried to prevent lawmakers from reaching Parliament. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Amid month-long anti-government protests, Lebanon will host North Korea in an empty stadium in a World Cup qualifying game.

The Asian Football Confederation says the decision followed advice “to guarantee high security standards and a safe environment for the teams and match officials.”

The game is to be played Tuesday at the 49,000-capacity Sports City Stadium in Beirut.

Lebanon and North Korea trail one point behind South Korea in Group H. Two teams advance to the next round.

Lebanon has been rocked by protests during an economic crisis which led Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign three weeks ago. A parliamentary session was postponed Tuesday by the demonstrations.