Correspondent Lee Sang-hyun and Kim Dong-chan = It is reported that North Korea has notified that it will not participate in the U-23 Asian Cup preliminaries to be held starting next month. According to the Free Asia Broadcasting (RFA) of the United States on the 11th, the Asian Football Federation (AFC) announced that the North Korean Football Association had notified its intention to not participate in the recent U-23 Asian Cup preliminaries in response to a written inquiry by the RFA.
AFC said, “Inquire to the North Korean Football Association” regarding the timing and reason for not participating. North Korea was originally scheduled to face off against Tajikistan and Laos, starting with Australia on the 6th of next month, in the preliminary round held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. However, it is known that the match schedule was also changed due to North Korea’s absence.
The Tajikistan Football Association also reported North Korea’s absence on its website and announced that it had changed the schedule for the preliminaries where four countries were scheduled to participate, with Tajikistan, Australia and Laos playing each other. The U-23 Asian Cup, which will be held in Qatar next year from April to May, also serves as a soccer qualifier for the Paris Olympics, making it impossible for North Korea to participate in men’s soccer at the Paris Olympics.
North Korea advanced to the 2020 U-23 Asian Cup finals, but was eliminated in the group stage and did not participate in the 2022 tournament. In addition, the 1976 Montreal Games was the only time North Korea participated in the men’s soccer finals at the Olympics. At that time, North Korea advanced to the quarterfinals. Previously, it was reported that North Korea had expressed its intention to participate in the 2026 World Cup Asian second qualifying round to the AFC. 스포츠토토 North Korea’s first game in the second qualifying round is a home game against Syria on November 16th.
North Korea has disappeared from the international sports arena since the 2020 Corona 19 epidemic, but there is a possibility of participating in the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September. The North Korean men’s football team is organized in Group F of the Hangzhou Asian Games and will play group stage matches against Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan. South Korea belongs to Group E, and if South Korea and North Korea share first and second place in the group, they could face each other in the round of 16.