AFC confirms withdrawal of DPRK from World Cup qualifiers
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Sunday confirmed the withdrawal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
In a brief statement, AFC said the matter will be referred to the organizing committee for FIFA competitions, and that further details on the standings of Asian qualifying Group H, which includes the DPRK, will be announced in due course.
Prior to their withdrawal, the DPRK ranked fourth in Group H after five matches, just one point behind group leaders Turkmenistan. The group also includes South Korea, Lebanon and Sri Lanka. The group's remaining matches will be played in South Korea in a centralized manner in June.
The move comes after the DPRK said in April that it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics this July due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.