NPR logo Olympic Glitch Riles North Korean Players Before Soccer Match [VIDEO]

Olympic Glitch Riles North Korean Players Before Soccer Match [VIDEO]

Supporters of North Korea's women's soccer team were dismayed to see the start of Wednesday's match delayed, after a video screen displayed the South Korean flag next to photos of the North Korean players. Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images

Supporters of North Korea's women's soccer team were dismayed to see the start of Wednesday's match delayed, after a video screen displayed the South Korean flag next to photos of the North Korean players.

Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images

It didn't take long for politics to enter the fray of Olympic sports. On Day One of preliminary competition, members of the North Korean women's soccer team staged a short protest after a mix-up with their national flag.

Glitches are common in the early days of an Olympic Games. But in this uber-hyped atmosphere, where nations do sporting battle with other nations, even the glitches can be charged with extra meaning.

Such was the case Wednesday at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, site of a preliminary women's soccer match between North Korea and Colombia. As the teams were introduced, the jumbo TV screen flashed the North Korean players' pictures — next to a South Korean flag.

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That's no laughing matter between hostile neighbors. The North Korean players left the field in protest, delaying the match for more than an hour.

Olympic organizers accepted blame for the mix-up. Once the players returned to the field, North Korea won, 2-0.

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