London Olympics organizers apologize after North Korea flag gaffe

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Friday, July 27, 2012

London 2012 Summer Olympics organizers apologized to the North Korean women's football team after mistakenly displaying South Korea's flag alongside competitors' images during team introductions before a match featuring North Korea and Colombia at the Hampden Park venue Wednesday night. The North Korean women walked off the field, delaying the match for over an hour until the correct flag was displayed.

"We will apologise to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again", said the organizers.

Coach Sin Ui Gun was translated as saying "We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us very greatly as you might know." He added, "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".

After the mistake was publicly corrected, the North Korean women returned to the field, defeating the Colombian team 2–0.