Updated: 26/07/2012 12:40 | By pa.press.net

Apology after North Korea flag mix-up

LOCOG have apologised after a mix-up with the North Korean flag, correct one is pictured here, before kick-off

LOCOG have apologised after a mix-up with the North Korean flag, correct one is pictured here, before kick-off

London 2012 organisers have apologised to the North Korean Olympic team following an embarrassing mix-up that saw the flag of a rival nation mistakenly displayed at their first sporting event of the Games.

The North Korean women's football team staged a protest ahead of their opening match with Colombia after the South Korean flag was wrongly shown on a big screen before kick-off. As a consequence, the players walked off the pitch and refused to start Wednesday's match at Hampden Park in Scotland at the scheduled 7.45pm start time.

Games organisers LOCOG issued a statement, which read: "Ahead of the women's football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag. Clearly this is a mistake. We will apologise to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."

The players were persuaded to return to the field about an hour later when the sides were announced again with each player's face displayed next to the North Korean flag.

South Korea and North Korea exist as neighbours but have a far from harmonious relationship. The countries were formally established as separate entities in 1948, and the Korean War began in 1950.

Only two years ago, North Korean artillery shells killed four people, two from the military and two civilians, on Yeonpyeong Island in South Korea.

The mix-up came after a 24-hour strike which threatened to create chaos on the eve of the Games was called off by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.

The development soothed fears that athletes and spectators arriving ahead of Friday's opening ceremony would be caught up in long delays at Heathrow Airport.

As the Government threatened legal action, the PCS called off its plans, claiming the creation of more than 1,000 jobs was enough progress to suspend the strike, but ministers strongly denied any concessions had been made, saying it did not recognise the PCS figures.

As the strike was called off, problems struck elsewhere as dozens of passengers were left suspended 300ft above the River Thames when a new cable car system linking two Olympic venues broke down. More than 30 cars, carrying around 60 people, came to a halt due to a technical problem with the Emirates Air Line at 11.45am.

related stories on msn


Its absolutely farcical that something like this could happen in the London 2012 games, I cannot believe that every single detail has been looked at and a due dilligence process was not carried out meticulously, this is an embarrassmet beyon belief.


North and South Korea are bitter enemies, they come to the games to show a sporting side of a country which is still fighting over political issues and we mess up big time,


heads should roll for this huge blunder, we have had plenty of time to get this right and shouldn't be embroiled in this kind of thing especially with the whole world watching us. and it seems now there is a problem with the diving, some people sat in certain sections of the stadia will not be able to see the whole dive because of a curve in the seating layout.


we haven't even had the opening ceremony yet and already we are facing problems.

26/07/2012 10:27
26/07/2012 08:27
No security, "lympic lanes" traffic chaos, and now the most appalling flag mix-up imaginable! Can we organise a bender in a brewery??? I hope to goodness that the opening ceremony is a cracker or GB is doomed!
26/07/2012 12:45
What steps are you going to take to ensure this won't happen again when you don't even know where Korea is??
26/07/2012 08:59
I'd love to see that slimy Alex Salmond forced to make a grovelling apology,
26/07/2012 08:52
How many other countries will be insulted by Coe and his Goons before this massive waste of money is over
26/07/2012 08:44

my  heart sank when i heard we won the olympics as the whole thing is a monumental waste of our money ,fat cats in the park lane hilton chaufer driven bmw,s  27 million pounds on an oppening ceremony and to top it all they are so pleased with themselves that they are 500 million under budget!!!!! dahhhhh it was going to cost 2 billion it has now cost 9billion how the ---- is that under budget, they all live in cuckoo land and this is from someone who likes sport!!



26/07/2012 11:58
Muppets, lets fly the canadian flag when the yanks turn up !!!!!!   couldnt organise a p-up in a brewery
26/07/2012 12:40

That is the way Olympic Games should start. Pathetic!

26/07/2012 09:51
Is there anything else they can get wrong!  What are they trying to do - start a frickin war!!!!!
26/07/2012 09:52
This is a schoolboy error. If anyone else, such as the USA, had done this our press would be guffawing over their deficiency in geographical and political knowledge. Well, LOCOG, to use modern parlance, I hope you're 'taking ownership' of this ridiculous and globally embarrassing faux pas.
26/07/2012 10:03
To be honest I was disgusted with the stitch up by Blatter and those corrupt clowns at FIFA over the England world cup bid. However looking at what an embarrassment this has been to the UK so far I can't see us seriously being considered to host a major sporting event again and we can't have too many arguments if that were the case. 
26/07/2012 12:42
So, if David Beckham is, according to rumours, going to kick a 'flaming' football to light the flame, wouldn't it be funny if they gave him a rugby ball by mistake?
26/07/2012 12:13
Great B.....! We have done it again.  I guess its reflecting something blown in from outside our shores, and crossed with another from another shore as well, such as Africa, The Balkans, Chine, Russia, Terrorists, etc.  take your pick!!  We continue to go down but delude ourselves the world is not watching and laughing.  Oh yes! there will be the usual appology and that makes it right.  There will be the usual about lessons having been learned and of course everyone does "... take ... seriously ... " statements, then we wait for another catastrophe.  Yes we are of sound minds!!!  KUDOS!
Wonder what Little John will be telling us and his family tomorrow about Geography and Politics ... getting the better of the Brits, ALWAYS.

26/07/2012 09:47
Whole thing is a fcuking shambles so far
26/07/2012 08:53
The first day of the Olympics in the UK and already we will be a laughing stock throughout the world. Some start for us!! What the hell happened? Who's to blame for this blunder? How will the faultee be punished, and to what degree? Let's hope the North Korean Womens Football team go on to take the Gold medal, the only true justice in this debauchery. And NO, I don't mean for it to be fixed! I mean I hope that the North Korean team show courage and heart, dignity and pride and they come out onto the pitch and play the sport without this idiotic, insulting human error affecting them too much! If Boris has a set of b*lls, he should be in Glasgow this morning, tearing someone a new a*sehole!!! 
26/07/2012 08:43

Mistakes like this happen, eg one of the strap lines to this story suggests this happened at Old Trafford!!!

26/07/2012 12:22
This could mean war between Scotland and N Korea. 
26/07/2012 10:30

If this is the start, then I'm not looking forward to the rest of the game. So are they going to blame this to the terrorist?

26/07/2012 08:58
Just think, we could go down in history as the first Olympic Games host to start a World War! As for the dirty washing being laundered with local strike issues..... how embarassing. After China  as the most perfect hosts, we are well on the way to being the worst. A good excuse for organisers never to give us any international fixtures ever again. As for traffic - London can't cope under normal circumstances. Seems very little was done to organise alternative transport. Any idiot can think that closing lanes will treble the problems!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Get the Bing Sports App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

latest football news