Sydney’s Olympic Park played host Saturday night to an unusual match as Australia’s deaf football team played its North Korean counterpart.
It is the first time the Democratic Republic of North Korea’s deaf football team has left their country – the most insular nation on earth – for an overseas match.
The event reportedly required months of planning and diplomacy.
Church group World Milal Australia organised the event with the help of Deaf Football Australia, with parishioners hosting the players in their own Sydney homes.
The closest official in Australia to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un attended the game but did not front the media. A gracious speech however from the President of the DPRK Deaf Football Team illustrated sport’s capacity to unite people.
"On behalf of the North Korean government, we thank Deaf Football Australia in this beautiful city of Sydney, for the warm hospitality of your citizens," said Jung Hyun. "And we also thank Korean people here."
Young Jun Sao, World Milal Australia President, believes in the diplomatic potential. “We hope this is part of the unification in the future," he says.