Olympic notes: North Korea flag flub delays soccer match

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 25, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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London Olympic organizers mistakenly displayed the South Korean flag on a jumbo screen instead of North Korea's before a women's soccer match Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland, prompting the North Koreans to refuse to take the field for nearly an hour.

The flag flap began during player introductions when a North Korean player was introduced along with a shot of the South Korean flag.

The match against Colombia was delayed for more than an hour, and organizers apologized for the error, and the proper flag was displayed.

"If this matter couldn't have been resolved, then I thought going on is nonsense," coach Sin Ui Gun said through an interpreter after North Korea won 2-0. "We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us very greatly as you might know."

London organizers took the blame.

U.S. wins first match

Gold-medal favorites United States, Japan and Brazil won their matches on the first day of women's football on Wednesday.

The two-time defending Olympic champion Americans beat France 4-2, World Cup winner Japan got past Canada 2-1 and Brazil -- the silver medalist in the last two Olympics -- routed Cameroon 5-0 with two goals by five-time world player of the year Marta and one by Cristiane, who became the top Olympic women's scorer with 11 goals.

The U.S. allowed two quick goals but answered with goals by Abby Wambach in the 19th minute, Alex Morgan in the 32nd and 66th and Carli Lloyd in the 56th.

Briefly

Fencer to carry flag: Two-time Olympic fencing gold medalist Mariel Zagunis will carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony. Zagunis won a vote of the 529-strong team.

Doping bans: Nine track and field athletes were suspended for doping, including three who were caught in retests of samples from last year's world championships.

Protest sought: Widows of two Israeli Olympians killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics are calling on spectators to stage a silent protest during the opening ceremony.

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