North Korea miss out on World Cup

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North Korea's hopes of staging a match during the 2002 World Cup finals were dashed yesterday when Fifa announced fixture dates and venues for the event. The communist republic had hoped to be given at least one game by tournament organisers as a sign of friendship with co-hosts South Korea.

North Korea's hopes of staging a match during the 2002 World Cup finals were dashed yesterday when Fifa announced fixture dates and venues for the event. The communist republic had hoped to be given at least one game by tournament organisers as a sign of friendship with co-hosts South Korea.

However, the North Korean capital, P'yongyang, was not among the 20 venues which were listed by the sport's world governing body.

France, the world champions, will open the defence of their title on 31 May in Seoul, with the final taking place in the Japanese city of Yokohama on 30 June. Matches will kick off at 3.30pm, 6.0pm and 8.30pm local time (7.30am, 10.0am and 12.30pm BST). The finals are the first to be staged in Asia and the first to be hosted by two countries.

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