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article imageOlympics: N. Korea women's soccer team protest over flag mix-up

By Layne Weiss     Jul 26, 2012 in Sports
Glasgow - The North Korean women's soccer team walked off in protest after the South Korean flag was mistakenly used to represent them for their match against Colombia. The match was delayed for over an hour, but North Korea went on to win the match, 2-0.
According to Reuters, the error occurred at Glasgow's Hampden Park Stadium, which hosted six different women's soccer matches.
The Hampden Park is one of five venues hosting the Olympic games outside London. Wednesday was the kick-off of Olympic events at Hampden.
After the match, North Korea's coach Sin Ui Gun said: "Our team was not going to participate until the problem was solved properly," BBC News reports. "Unfortunately, it took some time later for the broadcast to be done again properly, and we made the decision to go on with the match."
This is not the first controversy North Korea has experienced at the Olympic games. According to The Telegraph, the country withdrew from the 1964 Olympics after several of their team members were disqualified for participating in the 1963 New Emerging Forces Games in Jakarta.
North Korea also refused to participate in the 1988 games after they were barred from acting as co-hosts from the Olympic games in Seoul.
Olympic organizers have since issued an apology for the mistake.
"The South Korean flag was shown in the video package on the screen before the kick off and the North Koreans were naturally upset about that," Hampden media manager Andy Mitchell told Reuters.
"We have made a full apology to the team and the North Korean NOC (National Olympic Committee). A genuine mistake was made for which we apologize. Steps will be taken to ensure it does not happen again."
Due to the strained relationship between North and South Korea, the mishap was very personal and hurtful. The countries are still technically at war following the 1950-53 Korean conflict.
BBC sports editor David Bond called the incident an "embarrassing mistake." He said that while the Olympic organizers desired a smoother start to the games, at least "no great harm was done."
The match was set to begin at 7:45, but didn't kick off until shortly before 9, The Telegraph reports.
The announcers apologized for the delay explaining there was an "issue behind the scenes."
Some fans booed and walked off annoyed by the delay.
More about London 2012 Olympics, south korean flag, north korean soccer, North korea, Soccer
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