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Sports body to meet with Koreas ahead of Asian Games

Asia’s top sports body said Wednesday it will host a meeting between South and North Korea over participation in the upcoming Asian Games, with the hope of determining the number of sports in which they will be able to field joint teams.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said the meeting featuring representatives from the national Olympic bodies of the two Koreas will take place on Thursday in Jakarta, the host city of the 18th Asian Games, which will run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.

In a statement, the OCA said the discussions will focus on forming unified Korean teams in certain sports, because the two Koreas, during their sports talks on June 18, already agreed to march together behind the Korean Unification Flag at the opening ceremony.

The OCA has previously said it would support the joint Korean participation but insisted there would be no extra places for athletes from either Korea on unified teams.

The delegation from Seoul’s Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) will be headed by its secretary-general Jeon Choon-ryul. The North Korean Olympic Committee will be led by its vice president Won Kil-u.

The OCA’s chief delegate will be Vinod Kumar Tiwari, director of international and national Olympic committee (NOC) relations. Thursday’s meeting will follow earlier discussions between OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah and representatives from the two Koreas that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Saturday.

“It is very exciting times on the Korean Peninsula and sport is playing a major role in bringing the two Koreas together in an environment of peace and understanding,” Tiwari said. “We hope that this cooperation will grow stronger in the build-up to the 18th Asian Games and lead to a truly memorable and historic event.”


Korea, Germany unable to train in Kazan before match

Korea and Germany played their final group stage match without having practiced on the pitch of the competition venue following heavy rain on Tuesday.

Korea was scheduled to have their official training at Kazan Arena from 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, but FIFA later announced that the team’s training has been cancelled in order to protect the pitch for their Group F match against Germany on Wednesday.

Rain squalls showered Kazan, some 800 kilometers east of Moscow, about an hour before Korea’s training. FIFA later announced that teams have to train at other football fields in the city.

Following FIFA’s decision, Korea had to train at Tsentral’nyy Stadium, while Germany had to move to Electron Stadium to practice their tactics for the upcoming match.

Korea has been training in Saint Petersburg, where the average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. But Korea experienced scorching heat in Rostov-on-Don, where they lost to Mexico 2-1 last Saturday, and the players said they’re ready to deal with high temperatures.

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