North Koreans angered by flag blunder

North Korea's women's football team refused to take the field for more than an hour Wednesday in protest at an embarrassing mix-up of their national flag on day one of the London Olympics.

The team were incensed after Hampden Park's giant screen showed images of North Korean players next to the South Korean flag before their opening match with Colombia.

The game missed its 7:45 pm (1845 GMT) start after North Korea failed to appear. After it finally kicked off at 8:50 pm, North Korea won 2-0 with a goal in each half.

"Yes, we were angry because our players were introduced as if they are from South Korea, something that may affect us very greatly as you might know," said North Korea coach Sin Ui-Gun.

"Winning the game cannot compensate this. It is a different matter. We hope there is no repeat in the next matches," he added.

Sin said North Korea would have abandoned the game if the problem was not resolved, and said he had even wondered if the wrong flag had not been used on purpose.

"If this matter was not solved, we thought going on was nonsense," he said.

Olympics organisers and FIFA apologised over the blunder, which came among a series of other howlers on the first day of competition of London 2012.

"Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag," said a statement from the London organising committee.

"Clearly that is a mistake, we will apologise to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Team GB sent out an email referring to the Great Britain women's football team as "England".

And organisers offered a refund to diving fans whose view will be partially obscured due to a defect in Olympic Park's purpose-built, wave-shaped Aquatics Centre.

The North Korean error recalls a notorious incident in March, when organisers of a shooting competition in Kuwait played a spoof anthem from comedy film "Borat" instead of the Kazakh national verse.

In May, South Africa's hockey team were treated to a rendition of the country's apartheid-era anthem at their London Cup match against Britain.

Relations between the two Koreas, still officially at war and sharing the world's most heavily guarded border, have plunged in recent months over the communist North's nuclear programme.

The countries did not hold talks on reprising 2004's joint march at the Athens Olympics opening ceremony.

In Britain, North Korean officials have blocked South Korean media from covering their athletes' training sessions, according to the South's Yonhap news agency.

However, South Korea's weightlifters politely rearranged a training session this week after the North Korean team arrived at the same venue at the same time, in a scheduling mistake.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options