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London 2012
Apology to N Korea over flag mix-up
Olympic organisers say sorry to women's football team after South Korea's flag 'mistakenly' appeared before their game.
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:36
The North Korean team walked off after the S Korean flag was shown n the screen before the kickoff [AP]

Olympic organisers have apologised to North Korean women's football team whose images were shown next to the South Korean flag.

The mix-up delayed the women's football match, at Glasgow's Hampden Park on the first day of sport on Wednesday.

The North Korea women's football team walked off after the South Korea flag was mistakenly displayed before their match against Colombia.

The sporting action began around Britain two days before the official opening ceremony in London on Friday.

"The South Korean flag was shown in the video package on the screen before the kickoff and the North Koreans were naturally very upset about that," Hampden Park media manager Andy Mitchell told Reuters.

"We have made a full apology to the team and the North Korean NOC [National Olympic Committee]. A genuine mistake was made for which we apologise. Steps will be taken to ensure it does not happen again."

The British Prime Minister David Cameron said the gaffe was an honest mistake. 

He said he was sure every effort would be made to prevent such a mistake happening again.

When asked if he thought it was an accident, North Korea coach Sin Ui-gun was not so sure and said he would ask the organisers the same question.

"We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us greatly as you may know," he said.

"Our team was not going to participate unless the problem was solved perfectly and fortunately some time later, the broadcasting was corrected and shown again live so we made up our mind to participate and go on with the match," he added.

"If this matter cannot be solved, we thought going on was nonsense. Winning the game cannot compensate for that thing."

Kicking off almost an hour later than the scheduled start time of 18:45 GMT, North Korea were far more composed on the pitch and went on to record a 2-0 victory.

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