Oh No They Didn't: First Day Of Olympic Events, First Major Diplomatic Gaffe
AFP (France), THE TELEGRAPH (UK), YONHAP (South Korea)
LONDON - Day one of Olympic events started with a major diplomatic gaffe on Wednesday.
As the North Korean women's soccer team was entering Glaskgow's Hampden Park stadium for the opening match with Colombia, a giant screen showed images of the South Korean flag, French news agency AFP reports.
The match was delayed for over an hour, as the North Korean players refused to return to the field. Despite the incident, the team managed to win 2-0 over Colombia.
North Korean coach Sin Ui-gun said the team would have forfeited the game if the problem had not been resolved, and added he was wondering if the wrong flag had not been used on purpose.
According to the The Telegraph, announcers at the stadium apologized for the delay, saying there was "an issue behind the scenes." Olympic officials assured it would not happen again. There were reports that some Hampden Park spectators had booed while others walked out after being kept waiting.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reports the flag flap comes amid heightened tension on the divided Korean Peninsula. North Korean officials have blocked South Korean media from covering their athletes' training sessions and are refusing to answer any inquiries from South Korean journalists.