PHOTO: North Korea refuses to take Olympic soccer field after flag mix-up
After a stadium screen used the South Korean flag during warmups instead of the North Korean flag, the North Korean women's Olympic soccer team has refused to come out of their locker rooms for the match.
The London Games aren't even half a day old, and already an embarrasing snafu on the part of organizers has resulted in a lengthy delay of the women's soccer match between North Korea and Colombia.
The North Koreans left the field during warmups and refused to come out of their locker room after the stadium scoreboard at Hampden Park in Glasgow illustrated the team's players alongside the flag of South Korea. Via Twitter user James Crossan, a photo of the erroneous scoreboard:
The scoredboard issue has since been corrected and North Korea has taken the field. Kickoff, originally scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Eastern, was moved to approximately 3:50 p.m.
Per the AP, organizers have apologized to the North Koreans for the mix-up.
"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," a statement read. "Clearly that is a mistake. We will apologize to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."
The incident is not the first one for the North Koreans on the women's international soccer stage. At the Women's World Cup last summer, five players were banned after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The North Korean soccer federation later said that the positive test had resulted from the use of deer musk in the treatment of the five players after they were struck by lightning. (Yeah.)
North Korea is banned from the 2015 Women's World Cup and the five players were not brought to London.
North Korea and Colombia are the other two teams in the U.S.'s Group G. The U.S. defeated France 4-2 earlier Wednesday.
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