The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Sunday confirmed the withdrawal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In a brief statement, AFC said the matter would be referred to the Organising Committee for FIFA competitions.
It added that further details on the standings of Asian qualifying Group H, which includes the DPRK, would be announced in due course.
Prior to their withdrawal, the DPRK ranked fourth in Group H after five matches, just one point behind group leaders Turkmenistan.
The group also includes South Korea, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.
The group’s remaining matches will be played in South Korea in a centralised manner in June.
AFC further disclosed in its statement that DPRK, who are also known as North Korea, also withdrew from the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
This new development has come after the DPRK said in April it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics this July due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.