The Korea Football Association (KFA) have filed a formal complaint with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the North Korean anthem that was played before South Korea’s tournament in the AFC U-19 Championship in Indonesia.
On October 22, the North Korean national anthem was played instead of South Korea’s before their tournament against Jordan. Shortly after the song began playing, South Korea’s coaching staff and team manager immediately told the officials of the mistake and as a result, the North Korean anthem was halted and corrected with the South Korean anthem. The incident was the first time the North Korean anthem was ever played during a South Korean game in an official international football competition.
“This is the first time that the North Korean anthem was played instead of the Aegukga at any official international match for any level of the national footbal team.” ㅡ Korea Footbal Association
The organizing committee of the tournament explained that the mistake was caused by the audio operator that was responsible for playing the anthem and apologized to South Korea for the error.
“During the rehearsal, the South Korean anthem was played. But somehow the operator later picked the wrong song file. The operator has been replaced and we have apologized to South KOrea verbally and in writing.” ㅡ Media Coordinator
Nonetheless, the KFA submitted the documents for the protest after the game was over in accordance with the competition regulations which state that the Protest Form must be submitted to the AFC Match Commissioner within 2 hours of the end of the match. Moreover, they have also sent a follow-up report under the association’s name on the 23rd in compliance with the regulations that state that a full written report must be sent to the AFC General Secretariat within 48 hours of the end of the match.
The AFC has since released a statement on their official website in regard to the issue.
Although North and South Korea recently formed unified teams for the Asian Games and have seen significant progress for peace between the two countries, the North and South are still technically at war as the Korean War ended with a cease-fire between the military forces instead of a peace treaty.
The Unified Korea Team took the Gold in the Women’s dragon boat 500m competition at the 2018 Asian Games in August.