The South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported that the North Korean Football Association sent an official notice to the AFC on April 30 announcing its decision to withdraw from the second round of the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, to be hosted in South Korea.
The North Korean Federation has indicated, according to “Yonhap”, that the risk of its players being infected with “Covid-19” is among the main reasons for its decision not to travel to South Korea next month.
It is reported that South Korea was chosen by the AFC in March as one of the central stadiums for the Asian qualifiers for Qatar 2022 and the Asian Cup 2023 in China.
The Group H matches, which include Turkmenistan, Lebanon, North Korea and Sri Lanka, are scheduled to be held from May 31 to June 15, 2021.
The Associated Press quoted an official with the Unification Ministry in South Korea, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, that Seoul still hopes that North Korea will participate in the World Cup qualifiers in South Korea, saying that it will provide a rare opportunity for sports exchanges amid tense times in the region. Relations between the two countries.
“We will wait for the AFC to finish its internal discussions and inform our government of the final result,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity during a press briefing.