North Korea has notified authorities that its group plans to skip subsequent month’s World Cup qualifiers hosted by South Korea as a result of coronavirus fears, the South’s soccer affiliation stated on Monday.
North Korea’s soccer affiliation (PRKFA) despatched a letter on Friday to the Asian Soccer Confederation (AFC) declaring that its group wouldn’t take part within the second spherical of qualifiers, Korea Soccer Affiliation (KFA) spokesman Lee Jae-Chul stated.
The AFC is asking North Korea to rethink the choice, he added.
Matches throughout Asia within the second spherical of qualifying for subsequent yr’s World Cup in Qatar have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all however three video games as a result of be performed in March postponed till June.
The AFC introduced on April 12 that slightly than having the everyday home-and-away format, every group of 5 nations would play in a single host nation.
South Korea was named as host for H Group, which incorporates the 2 Koreas in addition to Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.
North and South Korea, nonetheless technically at battle as their 1950-53 battle led to a truce slightly than a peace treaty, final performed one another in a 0-0 draw at a nearly empty stadium in Pyongyang in October 2019. It was the primary match between the groups on North Korean soil in 30 years.
It was not broadcast after the North refused to display screen it dwell, and the KFA later filed a criticism with the AFC as a result of followers and media weren’t allowed to attend.
North Korea’s choice to skip the World Cup qualifiers got here practically a month after it introduced it will not participate within the Tokyo Olympics as a result of coronavirus issues.