North Korea pulls out of football tournament

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The North Korean women's soccer team has pulled out of the inaugural 2006 Peace Queen Cup Korea women's soccer Cup to be held later this month.

Seven teams — the United States, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy and South Korea — and not eight will compete in the first edition of the tournament to be held in six South Korean cities.

According to an organising committee official, the organising committee was informed by a representative of the North Korean team - a South Korean businessman on Monday that the "complex situation" would make it difficult for North Korea to participate.

Huh Kyung-rak, organising committee official, suggested that North Korea's nuclear test had led to the decision, adding "We decided to find a substitute team. The decision reflects our concerns that the safety of North Korean players will not be guaranteed under these circumstances."