FIFA reach TV deal to show World Cup matches in North Korea

June 14 - FIFA has signed a deal with Asia's broadcasters so that North Korean television can air its first match in the World Cup finals for 44 years tomorrow.

The last time the dark-horse team made it to the World Cup finals was in 1966 in England, when they reached the quarter-final.

Last week, North Korea was found to have broadcast the opening match between hosts South Africa and Mexico despite its lack of broadcasting rights.

South Korean broadcaster SBS has the World Cup broadcasting rights for the Korean Peninsula.

FIFA said that it has now signed a deal with the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) to deliver matches live in the secretive communist country.

North Korea are due to play Brazil in its opening match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg tomorrow.

"ABU has now signed," a spokesman for FIFA said.

"FIFA is working with ABU to get the signal to North Korea.

"We expect that they show the matches live subject to FIFA guidelines and instructions."

Otherwise, North Koreans viewers will miss out unless they obtain a pirated signal from South Korea - an illegal practice that has already threatened to increase political tension between the two states.

Previous talks between SBS and North Korea collapsed amid ongoing political tension between the divided countries.

South Korea holds North Korea responsible for the sinking of a warship in late March.

North Korea denies any role and has threatened war if sanctions are imposed on the country.

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