Daizen Maeda will return to Celtic earlier than expected after Japan's upcoming international fixture against North Korea was cancelled. 

Maeda played in attack during a 1-0 World Cup qualifying home win over North Korea on Thursday, and they were meant to visit their Asian neighbours this coming Tuesday. 

The return game was scheduled to take place at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, and would have been the first international sports event to take place in the country since the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020. But the controversial nation are believed to have pulled out hosting the tie due to ongoing fears about infectious diseases in Japan. 

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said the match had been called off due to “unforeseen circumstances”. A statement raid: "The fixture between DPR Korea and Japan, scheduled to be played on March 26, will not take place as scheduled due to unforeseen circumstances."

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While Japan Football Association president, Kozo Tashima said: "I told them it was so sudden and that I cannot give them an immediate yes. I told them it will take us at least two or three days (to answer). I told them it's difficult."

The decision serves as a boost to Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who will want his players fully fit for the Scottish Premiership run-in. They face Livingston next on March 31.