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South Korea: North Koreans pull out of World Cup qualifying

South Korean officers say North Korea has advised soccer’s Asian governing physique it is not going to take part in World Cup qualifiers subsequent month due to coronavirus considerations.

Kim Min-soo, an official from the Seoul-based Korean Soccer Affiliation, on Tuesday mentioned the Asian Soccer Confederation has requested North Korea to rethink its choice. He mentioned the North notified the AFC final week of its intent to drop out of the matches.

South Korea is scheduled to host North Korea, Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka in Group H qualifying matches from Could 31 to June 15. The group matches are being performed in hubs due to delays in continental qualifying for the 2022 World Cup attributable to the pandemic.

North Korea’s Olympic committee additionally mentioned final month it determined to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics to guard its athletes from coronavirus infections.

An official from South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which offers with inter-Korean affairs, mentioned Seoul nonetheless has hopes that the North will take part within the World Cup qualifiers in South Korea, saying they would supply a uncommon alternative for sports activities exchanges amid a nasty time in bilateral relations.

“We’ll wait till the AFC completes its inner discussions and notifies our authorities of the ultimate outcome,” mentioned the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity throughout a background briefing to reporters.
The North has nearly stopped all cooperation with the South and resumed testing of short-range weapons.

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