FIFA PRESIDENT DISAPPOINTED WITH KOREAN GAME
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed his displeasure at the level of attendance at the World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea. The match which was played at Pyongyang Kim II Sung Stadium was played to an empty stadium.
The match, which saw a few select officials in the match, was watched by Infantino. The FIFA president revealed later on FIFA website that he was looking forward to crowds in the stands for the historic match but was disappointed to see empty stands.
North Korea also frustrated South Korean officials and TV companies who were unable to broadcast the match live. Fans had to follow the match on the internet due to breakdown in logistics regarding access and visa for foreign journalists.
FIFA and AFC were able to broadcast the game via online text commentary posted on their websites which was a disappointment to many.
The match was the first match between both nations in Pyongyang and was seen as a historic milestone for both countries technically at war.
There have been increasing tensions in recent weeks with North Korea testing missiles after a breakdown of US-led talks regarding its weapons program.
The local North Korean media did not have much enthusiasm regarding the game with a short summary of the game released by the agency.
The game ended in a stalemate with both sides playing a conservative game according to match reports from the game. The return leg will be held in Seoul in November.
FIFA revealed after the game that they will continue to pursue different avenues towards bringing fair play to the sport.
The World governing body had earlier secured an unprecedented agreement with the Iranian government for women to watch football games. It remains to be seen whether this would apply to hermit countries like North Korea.