2012 London Olympics: North Korean Soccer Team Refuses To Take Field After Flag Mix-Up

During the introductions of the North Korea women's soccer team's first Olympic contest against Colombia at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, the scoreboard displayed the players' names adjacent to the flag of South Korea.

In response, the team refused to take the field for the contest and only did so after receiving permission from the office of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, according to reports.

"Today 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 Korea flag," said officials from the London 2012 organizing committee in a statement. "Clearly that is a mistake. We will apologize to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."

Eventually, the game went on as normal following a more than one-hour delay and the North Koreans won by a final score of 2-0.

North Korea and South Korea remain bitter rivals and the mishap comes as tensions between the neighboring nations are high. From CBS News.com:

The flag mix-up comes amid high tension on the Korean Peninsula following a North Korean long-range rocket launch in April and repeated threats by Pyongyang to attack the South. Seoul and the U.S. have called the launch a cover for a test of banned long-range missile technology. North Korea says the rocket, which broke apart shortly after liftoff, was meant to put a satellite into orbit.

Elsewhere in women's soccer, Japan defeated Canada, 2-1 and Sweden defeated South Africa, 4-1 in matches held in Coventry, England. In Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain beat New Zealand, 1-0, while Brazil rolled past Cameroon, 5-0.

For more information and coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, stay tuned to this StoryStream or go visit SBNation.com.

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