North Korea national football team

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Korea DPR
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Chollima[1]
Association DPR Korea Football Association
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Pak Yong-il
Captain Ri Myong-guk
Most caps Ri Myong-guk (96)
Top scorer Jong Il-gwan (18)
Home stadium Kim Il-sung Stadium
FIFA code PRK
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 108 Increase 2 (7 June 2018)[2]
Highest 57 (November 1993)
Lowest 181 (October – November 1998)
Elo ranking
Current 91 Steady (30 July 2018)[3]
Highest 26 (July 1966)
Lowest 98 (31 March 2015)
First international
North Korea North Korea 1–0 China PR 
(Beijing, China; October 7, 1956)[4]
Biggest win
North Korea North Korea 21–0 Guam 
(Taipei, Taiwan; March 11, 2005)
Biggest defeat
 Portugal 7–0 North Korea North Korea
(Cape Town, South Africa; June 21, 2010)
World Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 1966)
Best result Quarter-finals, 1966
Asian Cup
Appearances 5 (first in 1980)
Best result Fourth place, 1980
North Korea national football team
Chosŏn'gŭl 조선민주주의인민공화국 축구 국가대표
Hancha 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國 蹴球 國家代表-
Revised Romanization Joseon Minjujuui Inmin Gonghwaguk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune–Reischauer Chosǒn Minjujuǔi Mingonghwaguk Ch'ukgu Kukka Taep'yo T'im
Munhwaŏ
Chosŏn'gŭl 조선민주주의인민공화국 국가종합
Hancha 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國 國家代表-
Revised Romanization Joseon Minjujuui Inmin Gonghwaguk Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune–Reischauer Chosǒn Minjujuǔi Mingonghwaguk Kukka Taep'yo T'im

The North Korea national football team (Korean: 조선민주주의인민공화국 축구 국가대표팀, recognized as Korea DPR by FIFA)[5] represents the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in international association football and is controlled by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body for football in North Korea.

North Korea surprised with a good showing at their World Cup debut, reaching the quarter-finals in 1966, beating Italy in the group stage, being the first Asian team in history to make it past the group stage. During the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers, controversy arose when the team's supporters rioted, interfering with the opponents' safe egress from the stadium, because of North Korea's failure to qualify. In 2009, the team qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the second World Cup appearance in their history. North Korea has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup four times; in 1980, when they finished fourth, in 1992, 2011 and in 2015. The current team is composed of both native North Koreans and Chongryon-affiliated Koreans born in Japan.

History

1966 World Cup

Qualification

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  North Korea 2 2 0 0 9 2 7 4
2  Australia 2 0 0 2 2 9 −7 0
 South Africa banned
 South Korea withdrew

Finals

In the 1966 World Cup, North Korea played their matches at Middlesbrough's home ground Ayresome Park, when the team caused an upset, beating Italy 1–0 to gain a spot in the quarter-finals. There, they lost 5–3 to Portugal, despite taking a 3–0 lead after thirty minutes. The North Korea team was the first team from outside Europe or the Americas to progress beyond the first round of the World Cup finals.[6] In a 1999 documentary featuring interviews with surviving members of the team,[7] they describe themselves as having been welcomed home as national heroes.


Soviet Union  3–0  North Korea
Malofeyev Goal 31'88'
Banishevskiy Goal 33'
Report
Attendance: 23,006

Chile  1–1  North Korea
Marcos Goal 26' (pen.) Report Pak Seung-zin Goal 88'

North Korea  1–0  Italy
Pak Doo-ik Goal 42' Report
Attendance: 17,829

Portugal  5–3  North Korea
Eusébio Goal 27'43' (pen.)56'59' (pen.)
José Augusto Goal 80'
Report Pak Seung-zin Goal 1'
Li Dong-woon Goal 22'
Yang Seung-Kook Goal 25'
Attendance: 40,248

1976 Olympic football tournament

The North Korea football team finished second in their group in the 1976 Summer Olympics, but lost 5–0 to Poland in the quarter-finals.[8]

2006 World Cup qualifying stage controversy

In March 2005, the North Korean team was playing Iran in Pyongyang when North Korean fans became enraged when the referee failed to award North Korea a penalty kick after a controversial play near the end of the match. Demanding a penalty, the North Korean footballers rushed Syrian referee Mohamed Kousa, who instead gave a North Korean player a red card. Bottles, stones and chairs were thrown onto the field following the play. After the match was over, North Korean fans refused to let the Iranian team leave the stadium on their team bus. The violence was so severe that riot police forced back the crowd.[9] Following this incident, North Korea lost its right to host the subsequent home match with Japan and the game was instead played behind closed doors in Bangkok, Thailand.[10]

2010 World Cup

Qualification

The North Korea football team qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after finishing 2nd place in Group B of Asian qualifying.[11] Their finishing place was not decided until the day of the last fixture of the group, in which they needed not only to avoid defeat in a match against Saudi Arabia, but also relied on Iran losing to South Korea. After the Koreans scored the same number of points as Saudi Arabia, North Korea qualified through goal difference.[12][13] With a final pre-tournament FIFA ranking of 105th in the world, North Korea was the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the World Cup since the rankings began in 1993.

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 South Korea 8 4 4 0 12 4 +8 16
 North Korea 8 3 3 2 7 5 +2 12
 Saudi Arabia 8 3 3 2 8 8 0 12
 Iran 8 2 5 1 8 7 +1 11
 United Arab Emirates 8 0 1 7 6 17 −11 1


Finals

The North Korean and Brazilian teams in 2010
North Korea playing against Brazil in the 2010 World Cup

2010 was North Korea's first appearance at the World Cup since 1966.[14] The draw placed North Korea in Group G. They played their first match against five-time winners Brazil on 15 June. Despite their best efforts, they were nevertheless outmatched and lost 1-2. In their next game against Portugal on 21 June, they were defeated 0–7. Despite starting well (as against Brazil), their defensive and well organised approach unravelled after Portugal scored on them. The Koreans lost their final match against Côte d'Ivoire 0–3 on 25 June. Having lost all three group matches, they were knocked out, finishing at the bottom of Group G. It was reported that the small contingency of apparent North Korean football fans were actually Chinese people who bought tickets reserved for North Korean government officials.[15] North Korea subsequently denied the report, and claimed instead that the Chinese were small in number, and that the regime had permitted their travel. There were also reports that the North Korean government punished the coach and players for losing the matches by sending them on a hard labour in mines. However, FIFA's investigators could not confirm that.[16]


Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 7 Advance to knockout stage
2  Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 +7 5
3  Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4
4  North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 −11 0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria
Brazil  2–1  North Korea
Maicon Goal 55'
Elano Goal 72'
Report Ji Yun-Nam Goal 89'
Attendance: 54,331

Portugal  7–0  North Korea
Meireles Goal 29'
Simão Goal 53'
Almeida Goal 56'
Tiago Goal 60'89'
Liédson Goal 81'
Ronaldo Goal 87'
Report
Attendance: 63,644
Referee: Pablo Pozo (Chile)



North Korea  0–3  Ivory Coast
Report Y. Touré Goal 14'
Romaric Goal 20'
Kalou Goal 82'
Attendance: 34,763

Recent results and fixtures

Competitive records

Asian Games

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games Record
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
India 1951 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Philippines 1954 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 1958 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Indonesia 1962 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1966 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1970 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Iran 1974 - 7 3 1 3 11 8
Thailand 1978 - 6 4 2 0 12 3
India 1982 - 6 2 2 2 9 8
South Korea 1986 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 1990 - 5 1 3 1 2 2
Japan 1994 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1998 - 4 1 2 1 6 8
2002–present See North Korea national under-23 football team
Total 5/13 28 11 10 7 40 29

AFC Challenge Cup record

AFC Challenge Cup Finals
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Bangladesh 2006 Did not enter
India 2008 Third Place 3 1 1 1 6 2
Sri Lanka 2010 Champions 5 3 2 0 14 2
Nepal 2012 Champions 5 5 0 0 12 1
Maldives 2014 Did not enter
Total Best: Champions 11 7 4 2 19 7

East Asian Cup

  • 2003 – Withdrew
  • 2005 – Third place in Final Tournament
  • 2008 – Fourth Place in Final Tournament
  • 2010 – Did not qualify
  • 2013 – Qualified
  • 2015 – Third place in Final Tournament
  • 2017 – Fourth place in Final Tournament

Dynasty Cup

Dynasty Cup[17]

Nehru Cup

Coaching staff

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Pak Yong-il  North Korean
Assistant coach Kim Jong-min  North Korean
Goalkeeper coach Pak Kyong-chol  North Korean

Players

Current squad

The following players were selected for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification against  Hong Kong in 27 March 2018.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Ri Myong-guk (1986-09-09)9 September 1986 (aged 31) 96 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
13 1GK Sin Hyok (1992-07-03)3 July 1992 (aged 25) 1 0 North Korea February 8
22 1GK Ri Kwang-il (1988-04-13)13 April 1988 (aged 29) 6 0 North Korea April 25

2 2DF Sim Hyon-jin (1991-01-01)1 January 1991 (aged 26) 25 1 North Korea Sobaeksu
3 2DF Jang Kuk-chol (1994-02-16)16 February 1994 (aged 23) 33 3 North Korea Hwaebul
4 2DF Pak Myong-song (1994-03-31)31 March 1994 (aged 23) 4 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
6 2DF Kang Kuk-chol (1990-07-01)1 July 1990 (aged 27) 7 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
7 2DF Kim Song-gi (1988-10-23)23 October 1988 (aged 29) 5 0 Japan FC Machida Zelvia
15 2DF Kim Chol-bom (1994-07-16)16 July 1994 (aged 23) 1 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
18 2DF Ri Yong-chol (1991-01-08)8 January 1991 (aged 26) 11 0 North Korea Kyonggongop

5 3MF Ri Un-chol (1995-07-13)13 July 1995 (aged 22) 6 0 North Korea Sonbong
8 3MF Kim Kuk-bom (1995-02-19)19 February 1995 (aged 22) 11 0 North Korea April 25
9 3MF Pak Song-chol (1987-09-24)24 September 1987 (aged 30) 55 12 Cambodia Visakha
14 3MF Kang Kuk-chol (1999-09-29)29 September 1999 (aged 18) 7 0 North Korea Amrokkang
16 3MF Ri Yong-jik (1991-02-08)8 February 1991 (aged 26) 8 1 Japan Kamatamare Sanuki
17 3MF Myong Cha-hyon (1990-03-20)20 March 1990 (aged 27) 10 2 Serbia Radnički 1923
19 3MF Choe Ju-song (1996-01-27)27 January 1996 (aged 21) 2 0 North Korea Amrokkang
21 3MF Yun Il-gwang (1993-04-01)1 April 1993 (aged 24) 5 0 North Korea Wolmido

10 4FW An Byong-jun (1990-05-22)22 May 1990 (aged 27) 9 0 Japan Roasso Kumamoto
11 4FW Jong Il-gwan (1992-10-30)30 October 1992 (aged 25) 59 18 Switzerland FC Luzern
20 4FW Pak Kwang-ryong (1992-09-27)27 September 1992 (aged 25) 34 13 Austria SKN Sankt Pölten
12 4FW Jang Ok-chol (1994-01-14)14 January 1994 (aged 23) 1 0 North Korea Kigwancha
23 4FW Kim Yu-song (1995-01-24)24 January 1995 (aged 22) 12 7 North Korea April 25

Records

As of March 27, 2018. Players in bold are still active at international level.

Kit providers

Since 2014, North Korea's official kit provider is currently produced by the North Korean sports company Choeusu.[19]

Period Kit Provider
1948–1992 England Admiral
1992–2002 Italy Fila
2002–2003 Italy Lotto
2003–2005 Germany Adidas
2005–2006 England Umbro
2006–2008 Denmark Hummel
2008–2010 China ERKE
2010–2014 Italy Legea
2014–present North Korea Choeusu

See also

References

  1. ^ Montague, James (12 December 2017). "Inside the Secret World of Football in North Korea". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA.com. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018. 
  4. ^ North Korea matches, ratings and points exchanged
  5. ^ "World Cup 2010 team guide: North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "When Middlesbrough hosted the 1966 World Cup Koreans". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Game of their Lives". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2010-09-03. 
  8. ^ "XXI. Olympiad Montreal 1976 Football Tournament". rsssf.com. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "N Korea football violence erupts". BBC News. March 30, 2005. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Peck, Grant (15 June 2010). "No fans allowed at Japan, North Korea qualifying match". USA Today. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "North Korea qualify for World Cup". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "World Cup guide – North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Groups and Standings". FIFA. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "North Korea revive World Cup memories". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Holton, Kate (15 June 2010). "Chinese 'volunteer army' arrive to back North Korea". Reuters. Pretoria, South Africa. Retrieved 13 July 2010.  Indicating only that Chinese supporters of North Korea were present, but not necessarily excluding North Korean fans.
  16. ^ Frayer, Lauren (16 June 2010). "Diplomats: North Korean Soccer Fans Are Genuine". Aol News. Cape Town, South Africa. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  17. ^ Bobrowsky, Josef; Stokkermans, Karel (20 June 2007). "Dynasty Cup". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  18. ^ Bobrowsky, Josef; King, Ian (1 January 2006). "Nehru Cup 1993". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  19. ^ "Home-made Football Popular among DPRK People". KCNA. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 

External links

  • Blog about football Democratic People's Republic of Korea (in Italian)
  • Korea DPR by FIFA, June 15, 2010
  • North Korea – The World Cup's Mystery Men by BBC News, June 9, 2010
  • The story of North Korea at the 1966 World Cup, BBC News, June 15, 2010
  • Video of Italy's shock loss to North Korea in the World Cup 1966 by Youtube.com, June 15, 2010
  • Northern Exposure: The People's Team Abroad by Soccerlens, July 25, 2010
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