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World Cup qualifier match between two Koreas that nobody was able to see Updated: 2019-10-16 13:06:45 KST


The fixture between the two Koreas on Tuesday was surreal,… not because of the results or how the game was played,… but because it was played in an empty stadium in Pyeongyang with no live coverage.
The 50-thousand seat Kim Il Sung Stadium was virtually empty, except for a few members of the organizing staff, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
In fact, Infantino, who expected a lot from Tuesday's historic match between the two Koreas,… expressed great disappointment.
He said in a statement that he was let down to see no fans in the stadium,… and was surprised by issues regarding live broadcast and problems with access for foreign journalists.

But it wasn't just the head of the world's football governing body who voiced their concerns regarding this peculiar match.
Many news outlets also expressed disappointment, in their coverage of the game.
British live coverage website,… the Football London, posted during the game that conditions were ideal for the match,… except for the lack of fans and media, which it described as a shame.
Vietnamese media outlets were also upset over the lack of media coverage,… saying the only to receive match updates was through the football governing body's social media account.

While the backlash over the closed-door match has been strong,… some experts came up with a number of theories for the empty stands.
Some have pointed out, as was the case in 2005 against Iran,… North Korea might have been concerned about the possibility of its national team losing to the South in front of an angry home crowd.
Indeed, when North Korea failed to qualify for the World Cup in a match against Iran,… fans hurled bottles and cans at referees and the Iranian players.
Although many football fans couldn't watch the historic game live, a recorded version of the match will be broadcast by South Korean networks with the tape expected to arrive later tonight.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.
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