North Korean soccer team refuses to start match after South Korean flag displayed on scoreboard
A soccer match between North Korea and Colombia was reportedly delayed on Wednesday afternoon after the South Korean flag was displayed on the stadium scoreboard in Scotland before the match began. According to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, an announcement was made prior to the match apologizing for the day and explaining that there was “an issue behind the scenes.” The issue was that the North Koren players refused to take the field.
Isola reported on Twitter that a small group of North Korean fans left the stadium after about 20 minutes of the delay and other fans were booing.
“The public address announcer is giving the starting lineups for North Korea but no one is on the field,” he wrote. “The issue is that when North Korea took the field the scoreboard was showing the flag of South Korea. The scoreboard has been corrected.”
After about 45 minutes, the North Koreans took the field and play eventually resumed. While I’m sure the scoreboard error was an honest mistake, you don’t have to follow world politics all that closely to know that it was an extremely insensitive mistake. The reaction of the North Korean fans and players reflected that.