Switzerland have expressed reservations about a pan-Korean ice hockey team ©Getty Images

Reservations about a possible pan-Korean women's ice hockey team at Pyeongchang 2018 have been raised by Switzerland, their first scheduled opponents at the Winter Olympics next month.

The idea of an enlarged squad consisting of up to 35 players from both North and South Korea was proposed last week as part of talks between the two countries.

All other countries would have a roster of 22 players to choose from, but the 35 total was mooted in order to avoid any South Korean players missing out.

Switzerland are due to face South Korea in the opening Group B clash on February 10.

They claim not to have been consulted despite a promise for all national federations to be spoken to before any decision is made.

Switzerland Ice Hockey Federation head of communications Janos Kick told Yonhap that it would be a "positive sign in terms of world politics" before raising reservations.

"In terms of sports and for all teams who invest a lot of money and resources in their women's teams, we are not in favour of this since it's not fair and distorts competition," he said.

"We've never been approached officially by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or International Ice Hockey Federation.

"We've learned about this through media."

An IOC-commissioned meeting on Saturday (January 20) containing representatives from North and South Korea is due to discuss these issues further.

The coach of the South Korean women's ice hockey team has also expressed reservations ©Getty Images
The coach of the South Korean women's ice hockey team has also expressed reservations ©Getty Images

The two countries have never participated together at the Olympics before.

The proposal was originally regarded as an historic innovation, but practical concerns are emerging.

Sarah Murray, the American coach of the South Korean team, has already said that the idea would be damaging to her players.

"I think there is damage to our players," Murray said, according to Yonhap.

"It's hard because the players have earned their spots and they think they deserve to go to the Olympics. 

"Then you have people being added later. 

"It definitely affects our players.

"I am kind of shocked this happened so close to the Olympics.

"When rumours were going around about this happening, I didn't really believe it. 

"And it's getting more and more serious now."