UK: Olympic organisers apologise after flag blunder

Olympic Games organisers LOCOG were tonight forced to apologise to the North Korea women’s football team after a blunder at Hampden Park saw their players’ faces shown on big screens alongside South Korean flags.

The mistake led to North Korea staging a protest which caused the kick-off in their match against Colombia to be delayed by more than one hour

As the North Korean players warmed up on the pitch prior to the scheduled 7.45pm start time, they noticed the incorrect flag was being shown.

The squad walked off and could only be persuaded to return when the teams were announced again with each player’s face displayed next to the North Korean flag.

A statement from LOCOG said: “Today ahead of the women’s football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag.

“Clearly this is a mistake, we will apologise to the team and the national Olympic committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.”

The Group G match eventually began at 8.50pm.

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South Korea and North Korea exist as neighbours but have a far from harmonious relationship.

The countries were formally established as separate entities in 1948, and the Korean War began in 1950.

Only two years ago, North Korean artillery shells killed four people, two from the military and two civilians, on Yeonpyeong Island in South Korea.

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