September 24, 2021

North Korea withdraws from 2022 Asian Cup soccer tournaments

U23 and women's teams will not participate in qualifiers set to begin later this year, Asian Football Confederation says

North Korea has withdrawn from two regional soccer competitions scheduled for next year, according to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), as the country continues to shun international sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Thursday, AFC announced that North Korea will not participate in the U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan in June 2022 and the Women’s Asian Cup in India in Jan.-Feb. 2022, adding that the confederation will conduct a draw as a result to balance the number of teams playing in each group. Qualifiers for both events are scheduled to begin later this year.