SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea held South Korea to a 0-0 draw Tuesday in a World Cup qualifying soccer match, though it is unclear how many people saw the game in Pyongyang.
South Korean soccer officials were unable to watch a telecast of the historic game and believe it was played in an empty Kim Il Sung Stadium.
Specific details of the game weren't immediately available. Four players received yellow cards, two from each team.
North Korea kept out South Korean media and spectators and refused to air a live broadcast from the stadium, casting the game into media darkness in the South.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in Pyongyang and planned to attend the match, but FIFA could not immediately confirm to The Associated Press if he was there.
The North had been expected to have a unique home advantage in the 50,000-capacity stadium devoid of South Korean fans. But the South Korean soccer association, known as the KFA, was surprised to find out there apparently was no home crowd support, either.
"Photos sent by our employees show not a single person in the stands," KFA official Park Jae-sung said. "We are not sure why the North is doing this."
The KFA sent two staff members to the stadium to watch the game, but ruled out live text updates on its website because of uncertainties in internet connection.
It recommended that fans watch the KFA's social media accounts, where it posted game information its employees emailed from Pyongyang.
North Korea has agreed to provide a recording of the match to South Korean officials before they leave the North, which would allow South Korean networks to play the game on tape delay, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry, which deals with affairs with the North.
The game is the first competitive meeting between the national men's teams in the North Korean capital, although the North hosted the South in a friendly in 1990.
North Korea in recent months has severed virtually all cooperation with the South amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations with the United States, and repeatedly ignored the South's calls for discussions on media coverage issues and allowing South Korean cheer squads for Tuesday's game.
"There was no response from the North, and we find this regrettable and sad," Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said Monday.
The ministry couldn't immediately confirm whether the Koreas have ever before played a soccer match in an empty stadium. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, said he was confident this was the first time.
"So, we have another historic moment," Yang said.