The North Korean national football team on Sunday pulled out of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed the withdrawal of the DPR Korea Football Association from the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” the Asian football’s governing body said in a statement.

In April, North Korea withdrew from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of coronavirus fears, becoming the first country to formally exit the event.

The North Korean football team is playing in the Preliminary Round 2 Group H with South Korea, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka.

North Korea have eight points to come fourth in the group led by Turkmenistan that racked up nine points in five matches.

Second-place South Korea — one of the important Asian football nations — bagged eight points but the team has a match in hand.

The 2022 World Cup will be held in the winter months as Qatar will be the host nation.

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