Asian Games: North wary of referees in all-Korea football final
North Korea have moaned about referees going into their Asian Games football final clash with rival South Korea on Thursday with coach Yun Jong-Su calling for a fair fight for gold.
Incheon: North Korea have moaned about referees going into their Asian Games football final clash with rival South Korea on Thursday with coach Yun Jong-Su calling for a fair fight for gold.
After North Korea`s women hammered Japan 3-1 to take the women`s football title on Wednesday night, victory for the men would put the icing on the cake for a successful trip across the Cold War frontier to Asia`s Olympics.
Yun adopted English Premier League tactics and blamed the match officials after his side had beaten Iraq in the semi-final in the South`s major city of Incheon.
"There were a lot of bad calls in the match yesterday," he growled Jose Mourinho-style.
"Perhaps the referees can`t see things from a distance, but he failed to see things happened when he was close to the play. We hope the final is refereed fairly. If so, we will fight fairly and squarely."
The North will be without key forward Jong Il-Gwan, who was sent off in Tuesday`s semi-final after scoring the extra-time winner. "We have players on the bench ready to step in," said Yun.
South Korea are not sure about their imposing striker Kim Shin-Wook, but coach Lee Kwang-Jong said his players are ready.
South Korean authorities are also braced in case local fans bring out provocative banners or flags. Praising the North remains against the law as the two sides are technically in a state of war.
"Of course, it`s a sensitive issue that the two countries are playing each other so we are preparing to the best of our abilities," said organising committee media director Kim Bae-Ok.
The men`s hockey final will also be a clash of arch-rivals, with India and Pakistan playing for gold for the first time since 1982.
Millions of fans in both nations will be glued to their television screens for the match which earns the winner a place in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Pakistan, who pulled off a stunning 7-1 rout of the Indians in New Delhi in 1982, start as favourites.
India are eight-times Olympic champions, but have only won the Asiad twice. Pakistan, the defending champions, have won eight Asian Games golds. Shahnaz Sheikh`s side also beat India in the preliminary league.
China play hosts South Korea in two key women`s team finals -- volleyball and basketball. China are betting favourites in both but an upset is always possible with the Koreans on home territory.
China`s basketball captain Liu Dan is looking for a third straight Asian Games gold. They also beat South Korea in Guangzhou in 2010.
China will be looking also for two more diving golds in the men`s three metre platform and women`s 10 metre platform. They are on course to sweep all 10 titles this week.
The men`s 10,000 metres and 100 metres relay, and the women`s marathon headline a busy athletics day with 11 golds at stake.
There are also golds in taekwondo, soft tennis, rugby sevens, modern pentathlon, softball, bowling, canoe-kayak, and rhythmic gymnastics, and five karate titles.