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Infantino was disappointed by lack of fans in Korean Derby

Gianni Infantino, FIFA
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North and South Korea played their first-ever competitive match in Pyongyang but there were no fans or media allowed at the stadium.

For the first time ever, North Korea hosted South Korea in a competitive match in Pyongyang.

But the game was played before an empty stadium, as no fans or media were allowed inside.

The match was also not televised.

“This is my first time in Pyongyang, and I have been able to witness the work that many do to bring happiness to people’s lives through football,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino told the federation’s official website.

“There are 25 million people living in Korea DPR, and football is by far the most popular sport.”

“I was looking forward to seeing a full stadium for such a historic match but was disappointed to see there were no fans in the stands,” he added.

“We were surprised by this and by several issues related to its live broadcast and problems with visas and access for foreign journalists.”

He explained: “For us, freedom of the press and freedom of speech are obviously paramount, but on the other hand it would be naïve to think we can change the world from one minute to the next.”

“We raised these questions with the local association and we will certainly keep pushing so that football can have a positive influence in Korea DPR and other countries around the world.”

“This week, we launched a worldwide program that will combine the power of football with schools, and we recently played an important role in a first positive step towards women being allowed in stadiums in Iran,” he commented.

“I hope and I will do my very best to ensure that football can contribute, even if in a small way, to improve several things that we believe should change in several societies.”