FIFA president ?disappointed? by empty stands at Koreas qualifier


SEOUL: FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was “disappointed” after attending a historic but bizarre World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea that had empty stands and no live broadcast.The rare match in the North Korean capital ended 0-0 on Tuesday, with Infantino one of the few people allowed to see the surreal game play out at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Stadium. “I was looking forward to seeing a full stadium for such a historic match but was disappointed to see there were no fans in the stands,” he said in an interview published on the FIFA website.No foreign media were at the game. Frustrated South Korean fans who were not permitted to travel to the game will have to wait days to see it on television after officials bring back a DVD recording.The only simple way to follow the match, which the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had billed as “one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures” for years, was a limited online text commentary posted on the FIFA and AFC websites.Meanwhile, North Korean state media did not offer much in the way of colourful description in its report on the match. “The game of attacks and counterattacks ended in a draw,” summarised the official Korean Central News Agency in a two-line dispatch.
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