SEOUL: South Korea has asked world governing body FIFA to act against North Korea for staging their 2022 World Cup qualifier behind closed doors.
Tuesday’s game in Pyongyang, the first between the two teams on North Korean soil in 30 years, ended in a 0-0 draw in front of empty stands. It was not broadcast after the North refused to screen it live.
The Yonhap agency reported that the Korea Football Association wrote a letter of complaint to the Asian confederation that fans and media were not allowed to attend the match.
“We asked North Korea on multiple occasions for help in allowing our media and supporters to travel to Pyongyang, but North Korea refused to cooperate,” the KFA said.
Last year saw a flurry of sports diplomacy between the neighbours but ties have since cooled over stalled negotiations over the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. They are technically still at war as their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min said it had been a bad-tempered match, adding: “The game was so tough that I think we were very lucky already to be back with no one injured.”