The Torch
7:39 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Olympic Glitch Riles North Korean Players Before Soccer Match [VIDEO]

It didn't take long for politics to enter the fray of Olympic sports. On Day One of preliminary competition, members of the North Korean women's soccer team staged a short protest after a mix-up with their national flag.

Glitches are common in the early days of an Olympic Games. But in this uber-hyped atmosphere, where nations do sporting battle with other nations, even the glitches can be charged with extra meaning.

Such was the case Wednesday at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, site of a preliminary women's soccer match between North Korea and Colombia. As the teams were introduced, the jumbo TV screen flashed the North Korean players' pictures — next to a South Korean flag.

That's no laughing matter between hostile neighbors. The North Korean players left the field in protest, delaying the match for more than an hour.

Olympic organizers accepted blame for the mix-up. Once the players returned to the field, North Korea won, 2-0.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.