North Korea Women’s Soccer Team Refuses To Take Field At The Olympics After Flag Mix-up

The Olympics has barely begun (the opening ceremony isn’t until Friday), but we already have our first controversy. The North Korean women’s soccer team refused to take the field for their match against Colombia this afternoon because a video board at the stadium displayed the South Korean flag where it should have displayed a North Korean one.

After a delay of 40 minutes, the team finally agreed to take the field and the match began.

Take a look at the picture below to see how things looked in the stadium:

The flag was also apparently placed on the tunnel the North Korean team was supposed to exit the locker room from.

It was probably an honest mistake, but it’s not hard to see why such a mix-up would offend the North Koreans. Relations between their nation and their neighbors to the south aren’t exactly rosy.

The official name of North Korea for the purpose of international sports is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. South Korea is called the Republic of Korea. Obviously, the International Olympic Committee needs to get this stuff right. Still, it’s not too hard to see why a mistake might have happened.

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