The world sports community was buzzed again after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea decided to withdraw from an international women’s soccer tournament in December in South Korea.
The information was released by the Korea Football Association (KFA) on October 29, two weeks after Pyongyang hosted the second World Cup 2022 qualifier in an almost empty stadium and separated from the afterlife. Accordingly, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea decided to withdraw from the Women’s Football Championship of the East Asia Football Federation (EAFF) because it was held in the port city of Busan, South Korea.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was once a major force in women’s football in the region when it won the last 3 tournaments and currently ranks 9th in the world. “We have been informed by EAFF that North Korea will not be coming to Korea for the tournament. We do not know at this time why North Korea made that decision”, the KFA representative told AFP. This person also revealed that a similar notice was sent by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in September. Accordingly, the Taiwanese female recruit will replace the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to compete together with China, Japan and host South Korea.
The latest decision made by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after a historic match with South Korea in Pyongyang in the second round of the 2022 World Cup on October 15 became a controversial topic. This is the first time that two men’s soccer teams from the two nations have met in Pyongyang due to the fact that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Korea are still in a state of technical war.
In the match, Pyongyang did not allow home fans or visitors, nor foreign media to attend. The match was also not broadcast live despite the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, one of the few spectators on the field of Kim Il-sung. After the match, Infantino said he was disappointed at the match and surprised because there were no fans and a lack of media coverage.
Facing fears of being separated from the outside world, the Asian Football Federation has also decided to transfer the AFC Cup 2019 final between Club 4.25 (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and Al Ahed (Lebanon) from Pyongyang to Malaysia takes place on January 4.
Earlier, Pyongyang’s nuclear talks with Washington were at a standstill and increased tensions on the Korean peninsula. However, public opinion in the world still hopes that the sports diplomacy between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Korea can ease tensions between the two countries after the actions of establishing joint sports, together with marching under the uniform flag in the Winter Olympics, ASIAD last year.