Football: Koreas play out in empty Pyongyang stadium


North Korea hosted a seemingly tense football match with South Korea Tuesday, but very few people got to watch it.

The World Cup qualifier ended 0-0 in front of empty stands at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, with each side being shown four yellow cards.

The North refused to allow South Korean fans and journalists to attend the game, but it also reportedly kept its home supporters away according to the South’s Korea Football Association officials cited by Seoul-based news agency Yonhap.

South Korean broadcasters were also unable to show the game live after negotiations to agree a television deal broke down, reflecting a wider stalemate that has brought the Peninsula’s denuclearization dialogue to a deadlock.

Still, the South’s players and support staff had been bracing for around 40,000 passionate North Korean fans, and it was not immediately clear why the stadium was kept empty.

This was the first match between the Koreas’ men’s national teams in Pyongyang in 29 years.
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