Escape from Pyongyang - Korean derby shambles force AFC to take action against North Korea


The Korean Derby, North Korea vs South Korea, just recently played in Pyongyang for the first time in donkey's years. One of the few matches in Asian football the world had a massive interest in and thanks to those pesky North Koreans none of us got to see it.

The AFC cup final between April 25 and Al-Ahed, which is a showpiece event in Asian football (Uefa Cup equivalent), was due to take place in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital on the 2nd of November

AFC Cup moved due to Korean derby shambles

The official blurb is that the AFC Cup has been moved from Pyongyang's Kim 2 Sung stadium, to Shanghai's Hongkou stadium at the last minute due to sanctions. However, fixate your gaze between the lines, and then it is no coincidence that this event has been moved solely because of all the nonsense that happened during the Korean derby between the Northern and Southern parts of Korea.

The South Koreans were forced to fly from the south to Beijing, and then into Pyongyang. Instead of their request of just getting on a bus and driving up the road is accepted. This was the start of the almighty bollocks that went on, and the nonsense became more insane as it was slowly sent down a fax line, YES A BLOODY FAX, by hamsters to tell the world what was going on.

Luckily news filtered from the KFA to the wonderful Steve Han who reports and writes about Korean football for Goal. I believe without his tweets a lot of us in the land of English speakers wouldn't have a clue what was happening because the AFC was a bit crap.

One tweet which made everyone realise the amount of nonsense South Korea was forced to endure, was when they requested to use the internet. A random geezer came running through the corridors of whichever building they were trying to bash the reports out from, holding the holy grail of the Ethernet cable. Once that elusive cable was in the grasp of the KFA, someone from the North Korean side stood behind them as they sent out what was going on. In order to make sure that the news could be screened. Once the message was sent out, the good old fellow snapped back the Ethernet cable, and jogged on back off down the corridor, on his merry way, with the holy-grail ethernet cable clutched in hand.

The confiscation of food at the airport, along with the Ethernet cable nonsense has produced the right amount of rage and anger to get the AFC Cup final took out of the grasp of Pyongyang and plonked onto the lap of Shanghai.

The AFC is off to the Winchester until it all blows over

The AFC have moved the match to China, but once all the fuss dies down everything will return back to normal. Lebanon, Hong Kong, are a few of the teams who have recently requested to broadcast their games against North Korea.

In fact, Hong Kong's match against them was equally as important as South Korea's for differing reasons. If Hong Kong managed to win they would have qualified for the Asian Cup for the first time in totally forever. Still, it made no difference, North Korea just don't play ball when it comes to live coverage. A big up yours to the rest of the world. We are the fellows from the North and rules matter not to us, is basically how they act.

What we were treated to by North Korea, which we presume is what the AFC deem as live coverage, was the equivalent of a 1970's VHS knock off. A tiny square box with the highlights, surrounded by a bigger black box. You could see the tackles, but couldn't make out much else, as the flying tackles were difficult to miss.

The AFC have taken action now, but once things settle down, and everyone crawls out from the Winchester, things will return back to as they were and countries requests to broadcast games will fall on death ears. 

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