‘Korean Derby’ World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang opens with empty seats

October 15, 2019

The highly-anticipated World Cup qualifying match between South Korea and North Korea opened on Tuesday without any spectators.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) in Seoul told reporters there were no fans in the stands at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang 30 minutes before kickoff of the Group H match in the second round of the Asian qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The KFA added that the stadium remained empty 15 minutes into the match.

The match isn’t being broadcast live to South Korea. North Korea also didn’t authorize travel by South Korean supporters and journalists for the match.

The KFA is relaying match-related information to football reporters here after first receiving it from a match official from the Asian Football Confederation in Pyongyang.

파울루 벤투 감독이 이끄는 한국 축구 대표팀이 15일 오후 5시 30분부터 평양 김일성경기장(5만명 수용)에서 북한과 2022년 카타르 월드컵 아시아지역 2차 예선 H조 3차전을 무관중 경기로 치르고 있다.

파울루 벤투 감독이 이끄는 한국 축구 대표팀이 15일 오후 5시 30분부터 평양 김일성경기장(5만명 수용)에서 북한과 2022년 카타르 월드컵 아시아지역 2차 예선 H조 3차전을 무관중 경기로 치르고 있다. [연합]

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