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
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.
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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.
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!!
Wonder what Little John will be telling us and his family tomorrow about Geography and Politics ... getting the better of the Brits, ALWAYS.
Mistakes like this happen, eg one of the strap lines to this story suggests this happened at Old Trafford!!!
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?