The Olympic Games started on Wednesday 25 with women soccer games despite the inauguration will not take place until Friday 27. And it did not start off on the right foot. The organization confused the Korean national flag with the one from their South Korean neighbors during the pre-match ceremonies.
When the North Korean players came out the tunnel to play against Colombia and realized the mistake, they refused to jump onto the field. Tension arose and the Koreans players were adamant on not playing the game. They accused the organization of having made the mistake intentionally.
Finally, after a public apology was made and the flag changed, the Colombian players asked for 30 extra minutes to perform their exercises needed to warmup. Therefore the game started one hour later than it was scheduled, constituting the first bump of this year’s London Olympic Games.
The final score for the controversial match was 2-0 for North Korea, with two goals scored by Song Hui.
During the post game press conference, Gun Sin Ui North Korean coach showed his irritation about the flag issue and was skeptical about the committee apologies: “I will ask the Organizing Committee if this was premeditated. We consider this incident as something impossible to forget”.
Very serious throughout his appearance, he remembered that he could have boycotted the game, and also showed their rivalry with his Southern neighbors: “It was clear that we would not have played if the incident was not resolved. We do not want our players to go with other flags, especially the South Korea one.”
Not even the 2-0 victory seemed to calm down the North Korean coach: “Winning the game can not compensate for what happened. They are two different things,” said Gun Sin Ui.
The representative of the Organizing Committee Andy Mitchel apologized about what happened and promised that nothing similar will happen during the Olympics: “We have apologized to the team and to the Olympic Committee. It was a mistake and we have taken measures to prevent more similar cases.”