• London Olympics 2012

North Korea match delayed over flag gaffe

ESPN staff
July 25, 2012
North Korea were angered by the flag mistake © PA Photos

North Korea's women's football team initially refused to start their match with Colombia on Wednesday night due to a dispute over a flag displayed ahead of the match.

The South Korea flag was shown alongside players' names on screens at Hampden Park instead of the North Korea equivalent as the teams lined up for the national anthems.

The Koreans headed back into their dressing room in digust after the incident but were eventually persuaded to take the field, and the game eventually kicked off an hour and five minutes after it was meant to.

The organisers of the London 2012 event, LOCOG, immediately issued a statement of apology over the incident - which came a day before the Games are even officially opened.

"Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen instead of the North Korea flag," LOCOG said. "Clearly that is a mistake.

"We will apologise to the team and the national Olympic committee and steps will be taken to ensure no repeat."

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