North Korea won’t compete at Busan EAFF Championship

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North Korea won’t compete at Busan EAFF Championship

North Korea has informed South Korea it will not send its women’s national football team to a regional tournament to take place south of the border in December.

South Korea’s Korea Football Association (KFA) said its North Korean counterpart recently notified the KFA that it will not take part in the women’s competition at the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship, scheduled to run from Dec. 10-17 in Busan.

The KFA added that it was trying to determine the exact reasons behind the withdrawal.

The biennial competition was supposed to pit the two Koreas against China and Japan in a round-robin format. North Korea won the past three women’s E-1 titles, including one in Seoul in 2013 when the event was called the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup.

Chinese Taipei, which finished second to China in the qualification round, will likely take North Korea’s spot, according to the KFA.

The men’s tournament in Busan will feature South Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong. Their matches will be held from Dec. 10-18.

The women’s E-1 championship would have been a prelude ahead of the all-Korea clash in an Olympic qualifying tournament south of the border next February.

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