N Korea pulls out of football tournament in South: Seoul

SEOUL: North Korea has pulled out of a December international women’s football tournament in the South, Seoul’s football authorities said Tuesday, weeks after Pyongyang hosted a surreal World Cup qualifier in a near-empty stadium.The South has announced the North’s withdrawal from the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship due to be held in the South’s port city of Busan in December.The North is a power in the women’s game, ranked ninth in the world, and has won the tournament — previously known as the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup — the last three times it has been held.“We have been notified by the EAFF that the North will not come to the South to play,” a representative of the South’s Korea Football Association told AFP. “We don’t know at this point why the North made that decision,” he said, adding that they were first informed in September but were only making it public Tuesday. It comes after the World Cup qualifier — the first competitive match between the neighbour’s men’s teams hosted by Pyongyang — turned into a bizarre debacle earlier this month.

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