North Korea withdraws Women’s Football Qualifiers match in South Korea of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics event. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), on Tuesday, confirmed the news, saying North Korea has sent a letter to them informing their withdrawal from the Women’s Football Qualifiers tournament, which was scheduled from February in South Korea. The global governing body of Football, FIFA is also aware of the decision.
The ongoing tensions and technically war-like situations, which ended in a truce and not a peace treaty between the two Korean countries in 1950 -53 is said to be the reason behind boycotting the match. Last year, there was a flurry of sports diplomacy between the two countries that have again cooled over stalled negotiations over the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
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The AFC in an email statement said: “The AFC can confirm that DPR Korea Football Association sent an official letter to withdraw from the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2020 Asian Qualifiers Final Round”.
The third round of the football group stage matches for the qualifying tournament are scheduled from 3rd to 9th February in South Korea, and China. In Group A stage North Korea was drawn along with host countries Vietnam, South Korea, and Myanmar. Also in Group B stage, team Australia will play alongside host country China, Thailand, and Taiwan.
The top two winning teams from each of the above groups will move to a two-legged playoff match in March. The two playoff winning teams that have already qualified by virtue of being the host will join the Olympics Tokyo games scheduled in the month of July 2020.