N. Korean women team to skip football competition in S. Korea

N Korean women team to skip football competition in S Korea
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, file photo provided by the Korea Football Association, South and North Korean, wearing red uniforms, players play during their Asian zone Group H qualifying soccer match for the 2022 World Cup at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. The South Korean soccer association said Friday, Oct. 18, it has requested that North Korea be punished for blocking rival fans and media from attending a World Cup qualifier between the countries at an empty stadium in Pyongyang. (The Korea Football Association via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea won’t send its women’s soccer team to a regional competition set to take place in South Korea in December.

The East Asian Football Federation said Wednesday that North Korea informed it in mid-September that it won’t take part in the 2019 EAFF E-1 championship in the southeastern city of Busan.

South Korea’s football association has also confirmed North Korea’s decision. It says North Korea gave no reason for deciding not to send a team.

The development is yet another sign of stained ties between the two Koreas.

Earlier this month, North Korea blocked fans and international media from attending a men’s World Cup qualifier between the two Koreas at an empty stadium in Pyongyang.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was “disappointed” after attending the match in the empty stadium and with no live broadcast. The match ended 0-0 at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Stadium.

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