October 15 – It’s being described as the weirdest derby on the planet.
North and South Korea were meeting in a World Cup qualifier today but fans in the south had no access after the north imposed a media blackout with no live coverage, no visiting reporters and no away fans.
The game marked the first competitive men’s fixture in Pyongyang between the two sides in a group that also includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan, and Sri Lanka. But even North Korean state media made no mention of the qualifier and it was not even clear how many of the 50,000 seats were filled. Final result was a 0-0 draw.
The last time the two countries, still technically at war, met in a World Cup qualifier was in Seoul 10 years ago, a match the North lost 1-0 before accusing South Korea of poisoning their players’ food ahead of the match.
Two other qualifiers that had been scheduled for North Korea had to be switched to Shanghai after Pyongyang refused to raise the South Korean flag.
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