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South Korea to refer World Cup soccer dispute with North Korea to FIFA, news report says

South Korea to refer World Cup soccer dispute with North Korea to FIFA, news report says

South Korea has decided to ask FIFA to mediate in a dispute with the North over its refusal to let the South play its national anthem and raise its flag at a World Cup match in Pyongyang next month, a news report said Tuesday.
During a meeting at the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the North insisted that both Koreas use a traditional folk song and a neutral flag in the March 26 match, Yonhap news agency reported. It cited Yoo Young-chol, a spokesman at the South's Korea Football Association.
South Korean negotiators rejected the North's insistence, saying that FIFA _ soccer's world governing body _ stipulates national anthems and flags should be used at official international matches, Yonhap said.
Korea Football Association officials could not be immediately be reached for comment on the report.
In recent years, the two Koreas have displayed the blue and white "unification flag" and used the traditional song "Arirang" at friendly sports events as part of their efforts to foster positive feelings toward reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.
Both sides marched together under the unification flag at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The two Koreas fought a devastating three-year war that ended in 1953 in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving them technically at war. Their relations have significantly warmed since the first summit between their leaders in 2000.
The two Koreas are in the same group with Turkmenistan and Jordan in the Asian third-round qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
In opening matches last week, South Korea beat Turkmenistan 4-0 and North Korea defeated Jordan 1-0.


Updated : 2021-03-06 22:44 GMT+08:00