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Home / Sports / The South Korean football team reports a tough game in Pyongyang

The South Korean football team reports a tough game in Pyongyang



The South Korean national football team described their World Cup qualifier against North Korea in Pyongyang as a "tough" game, held under unusual conditions and possibly fought with FIFA.

The historic game ended on Tuesday at Kim with a goalless draw at Il Sung Stadium, which had no spectators. The game was also under a media block and the South Koreans first spoke with journalists on Thursday about the playing conditions on their return to Seoul.

"The opponents were very rough and there were moments when a very abusive language was exchanged." Tottenham striker Son Heung-min said.

"It was hard to focus on the game because you were thinking of avoiding injury first … It's an achievement that we've returned from a game like this without injury," Son told reporters at Incheon International Airport.

The team's general director, Choi Young-il, said the South Korean Football Association, known as the KFA, will discuss whether to file a complaint with FIFA for failing to adequately accommodate the North Korean guest team and the decision To block media and viewers.

North Korea detained South Korean media and viewers and refused a live broadcast from the stadium.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also participated On Tuesday, he made a statement that he was "disappointed that there were no fans in the stands".

"This and various issues related to live broadcasting as well as problems with visa and access have surprised us for foreign journalists," said Infantino.

Pyongyang's official Korean news agency just released a short game report, saying the "game of attacks and counter-attacks ended in a draw 0-0."

North Korea provided a DVD recording of the game for South Korean football officials, but the South Korean television broadcaster KBS has canceled plans to broadcast the game on tape because of the quality of the video, the broadcaster and KFA said.

"We probably will not get another video from North Korea," said Park Jae-sung, a KFA official who added that the video was unsuitable for South Korea's high-definition TV services.

The North was expected to have a unique home advantage in the stadium with no 50,000 spectators South Korean fans, bu t The South Korean players and football officials were surprised that there would be no support for the grassroots.

Son said it was unfortunate that South Korea, which has a stronger squad on paper, could not return with three points, but admitted that the physical play of their opponents had gotten into the minds of the players.

Choi, a former defender who played for South Korea during the 1994 US World Cup, said the North Koreans played as if they were "at war" "They swing their elbows and hands violently and knock their opponents first to the knee when fighting for balls in the air.

"I've never seen anything like this in football," he said.

When they were not playing or training, South Korean players and co-workers were entrenched in the Koryo Hotel, Choi said they had no outside contacts and left their cell phones in the South Korean embassy in Beijing before they entered the North, and Choi said North Korean officials had not told the South Korean team that the game was over would take place in an empty stadium.

"We arrived one and a half hours earlier and thought the gate would open and a crowd of 50,000 Pouring spectators, "said Choi. "But the gate never opened to the end."

The game was the first men's national team competition in the North Korean capital, although the North was held in 1990 in a friendly against the South.

North Korea In the past few months virtually all cooperation with the South has been disrupted in the stalled nuclear talks with the United States, and the demands of the South for discussions on media coverage have been repeatedly ignored and South Korean Association Minister Kim has been allowed to attend Game to cheer.

Kim, South Korean Association Minister Yeon-chul, Seoul's top candidate for North Korea, said at a parliamentary session on Thursday that the way the North handled the game was "very disappointing" and reflected the stalemate in inter-Korean relations ,

Some experts said the North was expressing its political displeasure with the South by excluding competing reporters and fans, but opted to compete in an empty home stadium to equalize the field and avoid questions about Fairness.

Others claim North Korea was worried about the possibility that their national team would lose their passion for the sport in front of a huge local crowd against the South.

The clumsy development of the game "shows how dissatisfied North Korea is with (South Korea)" because it failed to break away from its US ally and resume US-held inter-Korean economic sanctions, said Choi Kang , Vice President of the Asan Institute for Political Studies in Seoul. During qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, North Korea decided to host matches against South Korea in Shanghai, and refused to hoist the South Korean flag and play the South Korean anthem on the ground.

The fate of the game in Pyongyang was uncertain until last month's Asian Football Federation announced to the KFA that the North had decided to qualify as planned. [19659005] South Korea's two Group H matches against North Korea will be crucial for qualifying for the World Cup. The second game between the Koreans is scheduled for June 4 in South Korea.

South Korea dominated the last 17 games between Korea with seven wins, one defeat and nine draws.

Group H also includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.


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