South Korean officials say North Korea has told soccer’s Asian governing body it will not participate in World Cup qualifiers next month because of coronavirus concerns.
Kim Min-soo, an official from the Seoul-based Korean Football Association, on Tuesday said the Asian Football Confederation has asked North Korea to reconsider its decision.
He said the North notified the AFC last week of its intent to drop out of the matches.
“The Asian Football Confederation has today confirmed the withdrawal of the DPR Korea Football Association from the Asian Qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022”.
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North Korea gave no reason for the exit from the qualifiers.
However, South Korean media reported earlier this month that Pyongyang had said it would skip the qualifiers over coronavirus fears.
Several matches of the second round of Asia’s preliminary tournament for the Qatar World Cup were postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.