N Korea wants steps against flag mistakes

N Korea wants steps against flag mistakes

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
N Korea wants steps against flag mistakes

The North Korean women’s football team sing their nation anthem before their group G match against Colombia, prior to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games. AP Photo

North Korea’s IOC member wants Olympic organizers to take steps to ensure there are no more mix-ups of national flags - especially at the medal ceremonies.

Chang Ung expressed his disappointment yesterday after the South Korean flag was mistakenly displayed on the giant screen before the women’s football game between North Korea and Colombia in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23.

The North Koreans refused to take the field for about an hour before the match went ahead. London organizers apologized.

“This should not have happened,” Chang said. “I am really surprised how the London Olympic team, the protocol people, didn’t invite someone from the team to check if it is your flag.”

Chang proposed that Olympic protocol officials meet with team leaders before each medal ceremony to check that the correct flags and anthems are being used.

“With 302 medal awarding ceremonies, if something bad happened, that’s damaging for the IOC,” he said. “Beforehand, the protocol people should invite the team leader or captain to come up.”

Asked whether he was satisfied with the organizers’ apology, Chang said: “They apologized to the national team, that’s enough.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge responded that organizers had moved to fix the problem, while British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was “an honest mistake.”