What's buzzing:

Fourth-Place Medal

North Korea women’s soccer team refuses to take field over flag dispute

Jay Busbee
Fourth-Place Medal

The North Korean players were depicted next to the flag for South Korea. (Photo via @jamescrossan)

The Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games has not even begun, and we have our first political controversy.

On Wednesday, the North Korea women's soccer team refused to take the field for approximately an hour at Hampden Park in Glasgow because of a political slight. As North Korea was preparing to take the field for its match against Colombia, the scoreboard introduced the North Korea players with South Korea's flag beside their pictures.

Both teams returned to their locker rooms for a brief stay, but took the field soon afterward to begin warm-ups for the game.

[ Related: Greek jumper kicked off team for racist tweet ]

London's Olympic committee issued a hasty apology:

"Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen instead of Flag NK," a statement from the Games organizers read. "Clearly that is a mistake. We will apologize to the team and the national Olympic committee and steps will be taken to ensure no repeat."

North Korea's action adds to the long list of political protests that have delayed or disrupted past Olympic Games:

• Most notoriously, Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Games.

• The United States and 60 other countries pulled out of the 1980 Games in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviets and a dozen allies refused to attend the 1984 games in retaliation.

[ Video: Palestinian terrorists rocked the 1972 Munich Games ]

• In 1976, 32 African countries stayed out of the Montreal Olympics to protest a move by New Zealand's rugby team to tour then-segregated South Africa.

• American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave a Black Power salute on the medal podium in the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

• In 2004, Iranian judo competitor Arash Miresmaeili allegedly ate himself out of his weight class in order to avoid fighting Ehud Vaks of Israel to show solidarity with Palestine.

Related video:

More Olympic coverage on the Yahoo! Sports network:
Top Chinese gymnast hurt as equipment called into question
U.S. women's soccer roars back to beat France in opener
Experience Phelps' history-making performance in Beijing

View Comments (418)
  • Policeman hurt in clashes before Danube derby in Budapest

    A policeman was injured when dozens of rival fans clashed in Budapest on Thursday night before the Euro 2016 Group F qualifier between Danube neighbours Hungary and Romania on Friday, police said. Several police vehicles were damaged and 18 people … More »

    Reuters - 1 minute 54 seconds ago
  • Packers' Guion, Jones await substance abuse suspensions

    Packers defensive lineman Letroy Guion plans to stay in Green Bay during his three-game suspension to work out and get ready for the rest of the season. The NFL announced the suspension last week, saying the eight-year-pro violated the league's … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 minutes 27 seconds ago
  • St. Pauli to play Dortmund with motto 'Refugees Welcome'

    HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- German second-division side St. Pauli has given its club friendly against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday the motto ''Refugees Welcome.'' … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 5 seconds ago
  • Bayern midfielder Javi Martinez supporting migrants

    Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez visited migrants at Munich train station Friday to offer his support and sporting director Matthias Sammer made a call for others to help. Munich police said ''there's no end to the support from Munich people … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Mercedes on course to extend F1 pole position streak to 23

    Mercedes on course to extend F1 pole position streak to 23

    With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominating practice for the Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes is on track for its 23rd consecutive pole position Saturday. Hamilton and Rosberg finished 1-2 in both of Friday's practice sessions. In the afternoon, … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago