North Korea national football team

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Korea DPR
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Chollima[1]
AssociationDPR Korea Football Association
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachYun Jong-su
CaptainJong Il-gwan
Most capsRi Myong-guk (118)
Top scorerJong Il-gwan (26)
Home stadiumKim Il-sung Stadium
FIFA codePRK
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 116 Steady (11 June 2020)[2]
Highest57 (November 1993)
Lowest181 (October – November 1998)
First international
North Korea 1–0 China PR 
(Beijing, China; 7 October 1956)[3]
Biggest win
North Korea 21–0 Guam 
(Taipei, Taiwan; 11 March 2005)
Biggest defeat
 Portugal 7–0 North Korea
(Cape Town, South Africa; 21 June 2010)
World Cup
Appearances2 (first in 1966)
Best resultQuarter-finals, 1966
Asian Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1980)
Best resultFourth place, 1980
AFC Challenge Cup
Appearances3 (first in 2008)
Best resultChampions, 2010 and 2012
EAFF E-1 Football Championship
Appearances4 (first in 2005)
Best resultThird place, 2005 and 2015
North Korea national football team
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
Revised RomanizationJoseon Minjujuui Inmin Gonghwaguk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune–ReischauerChosŏn Minjujuǔi Mingonghwaguk Ch'ukgu Kukka Taep'yo T'im
Munhwaŏ
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
Revised RomanizationJoseon Minjujuui Inmin Gonghwaguk Gukga Jonghap Tim
McCune–ReischauerChosŏn Minjujuǔi Inmin Konghwaguk Kukka Chonghap T'im

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea national football team (Korean: 조선민주주의인민공화국 축구 국가대표팀, recognized as Korea DPR by FIFA)[6] or simply known as North Korea national football team represents North Korea in men's international football and it is governed by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body for football in North Korea. The team represents both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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 five times; in 1980, when they finished fourth, in 1992, 2011, in 2015, and in 2019. The current team is composed of both native North Koreans and Chongryon-affiliated Koreans born in Japan.

History[edit]

1966 World Cup[edit]

Qualification[edit]

Pos 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 (D) 0 0
 South Korea (W) 0 0
Source:[citation needed]
(D) Disqualified; (W) Withdrew.

1976 Olympic football tournament[edit]

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.[9]

2006 World Cup qualifying stage controversy[edit]

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 incident 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.[10] 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.[11]

2010 World Cup[edit]

Qualification[edit]

The North Korea football team qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after finishing 2nd place in Group B of Asian qualifying.[12] 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.[13][14] 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 (Q) 8 4 4 0 12 4 +8 16
 North Korea (Q) 8 3 3 2 7 5 +2 12
 Saudi Arabia (A) 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
Source:[citation needed]
(Q) South Korea and North Korea qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.; (A) Saudi Arabia advanced to the AFC play-off..

Finals[edit]

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.[15] 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 Ivory Coast 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.[16] 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.[17]

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'

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'

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

2019[edit]

8 July 2019 Intercontinental CupSyria 5–2 North KoreaAhmedabad, India
20:00
AIFF Stadium: TransStadia Arena
Attendance: 7,293
Referee: Venkatesh Ramachandran (India)
13 July 2019 Intercontinental CupIndia 2–5 North KoreaAhmedabad, India
20:00
AIFF
Stadium: TransStadia Arena
Attendance: 9,590
Referee: Akhrol Riskullaev (Uzbekistan)
15 July 2019 Intercontinental CupNorth Korea 1–0 TajikistanAhmedabad, India
20:00 AIFF Stadium: TransStadia Arena
Attendance: 634
Referee: Venkatesh Ramachandran (India)
19 July 2019 Intercontinental CupTajikistan 0–1 North KoreaAhmedabad, India
20:00 AIFF FFT Stadium: TransStadia Arena
Attendance: 1,832
Referee: Akhrol Riskullaev (Uzbekistan)
5 September 2019 2022 FWC QNorth Korea 2–0 LebanonPyongyang, North Korea
17:30 UTC+9
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Stadium: Kim Il-sung Stadium
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Sherzod Kasimov (Uzbekistan)
10 September 2019 2022 FWC QSri Lanka 0–1 North KoreaColombo, Sri Lanka
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Stadium: Colombo Racecourse
Attendance: 1,258
Referee: Timur Faizullin (Kyrgyzstan)
14 November 2019 2022 FWC QTurkmenistan 3–1 North KoreaAshgabat, Turkmenistan
16:00 UTC+5
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Stadium: Ashgabat Stadium
Attendance: 26,100
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-udom (Thailand)
19 November 2019 2022 FWC QLebanon 0–0 North KoreaBeirut, Lebanon
19:00 UTC+2 Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Stadium: Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Yaqoob Abdul Baki (Oman)

2020[edit]

8 October 2020 (2020-10-08) 2022 FWC QNorth Korea v Sri LankaPyongyang, North Korea
Stadium: Kim Il-sung Stadium
12 November 2020 (2020-11-12) 2022 FWC QSouth Korea v North KoreaSeoul, South Korea
Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
17 November 2020 (2020-11-17) 2022 FWC QNorth Korea v TurkmenistanPyongyang, North Korea
Stadium: Kim Il-sung Stadium

Competitive record[edit]

Asian Games[edit]

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 Did not enter
Philippines 1954
Japan 1958
Indonesia 1962
Thailand 1966
Thailand 1970
Iran 1974 Fourth place 7 3 1 3 11 8
Thailand 1978 Champions 6 4 2 0 12 3
India 1982 Fourth place 6 2 2 2 9 8
South Korea 1986 Did not enter
China 1990 Runners-up 5 1 3 1 2 2
Japan 1994 Did not enter
Thailand 1998 13th place 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[edit]

AFC Challenge Cup Finals
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
Bangladesh 2006 Did not enter
India 2008 Third place 5 4 0 1 9 1
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 15 12 2 1 35 4

East Asian Cup[edit]

EAFF East Asian Cup record Preliminary round
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA GP W D L GF GA
Japan 2003 Withdrew
South Korea 2005 Third place 3rd 3 1 1 1 1 2 4 4 0 0 31 0
China 2008 Fourth place 4th 3 0 2 1 3 5 2 2 0 0 14 1
Japan 2010 Did not qualify 3 2 1 0 11 3
South Korea 2013 4 3 1 0 16 2
China 2015 Third place 3rd 3 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 1 0 7 2
Japan 2017 Fourth place 4th 3 2 1 0 7 3 3 3 0 0 5 0
South Korea 2019 Did not qualify 3 2 1 0 6 1
Total Best: Third place 4/8 12 4 5 3 13 13 22 18 4 0 90 9

Dynasty Cup[edit]

Dynasty Cup record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA
China 1990 Third place 3rd 3 0 1 2 1 3
China 1992 Third place 3rd 3 0 2 1 4 7
Hong Kong 1995 Did not enter
Japan 1998
Total Best: Third place 2/4 6 0 3 3 5 10

Nehru Cup[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Yun Jong-su  North Korean
Assistant coach Kim Yong-jun  North Korean
Goalkeeper coach Baek Nam-chol  North Korean
Technical director Kim Jong-yong  North Korean

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were selected for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Turkmenistian and Lebanon on 14 and 19 November 2019, respectively.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
23 1GK Ri Kwang-il (1988-04-13) 13 April 1988 (age 32) 7 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
1 1GK An Tae-song (1993-10-21) 21 October 1993 (age 26) 6 0 North Korea April 25
21 1GK Sin Hyok (1992-07-03) 3 July 1992 (age 28) 1 0 North Korea Kigwancha

3 2DF Jang Kuk-chol (1994-02-16) 16 February 1994 (age 26) 62 5 North Korea Hwaebul
13 2DF Sim Hyon-jin (1991-01-01) 1 January 1991 (age 29) 41 2 North Korea April 25
16 2DF Pak Myong-song (1994-03-31) 31 March 1994 (age 26) 23 0 North Korea April 25
6 2DF Kim Chol-bom (1994-07-16) 16 July 1994 (age 25) 23 0 North Korea April 25
2 2DF Ri Thong-il (1992-11-20) 20 November 1992 (age 27) 10 1 North Korea Kigwancha
17 2DF Ri Chang-ho (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 30) 7 0 North Korea Hwaebul
18 2DF Ri Yong-chol (1991-01-08) 8 January 1991 (age 29) 5 0 North Korea Hwaebul
5 2DF Hong Jin-song (1994-02-22) 22 February 1994 (age 26) 3 0 Unattached

11 3MF Jong Il-gwan (captain) (1992-10-30) 30 October 1992 (age 27) 76 26 North Korea Rimyongsu
15 3MF Ri Un-chol (1995-07-13) 13 July 1995 (age 24) 25 1 North Korea Sonbong
12 3MF Ri Yong-jik (1991-02-08) 8 February 1991 (age 29) 23 1 Japan Tokyo Verdy
8 3MF Han Thae-hyok (1988-06-20) 20 June 1988 (age 32) 6 0 North Korea Kigwancha
10 3MF Kim Kum-chol (1997-04-07) 7 April 1997 (age 23) 5 0 North Korea Rimyongsu
19 3MF Song Jong-hyok (1995-06-28) 28 June 1995 (age 25) 3 0 North Korea Hwaebul
4 3MF Choe Song-hyok (1998-02-28) 28 February 1998 (age 22) 2 0 Unattached

9 4FW Pak Kwang-ryong (1992-09-27) 27 September 1992 (age 27) 41 14 Austria St. Pölten
14 4FW Kim Yong-il (1994-07-06) 6 July 1994 (age 25) 19 1 North Korea Kigwancha
7 4FW Han Kwang-song (1998-09-11) 11 September 1998 (age 21) 10 1 Qatar Al-Duhail
20 4FW Pak Hyon-il (1993-09-21) 21 September 1993 (age 26) 8 2 North Korea Amnokgang
22 4FW Choe Ju-song (1996-01-27) 27 January 1996 (age 24) 6 0 North Korea Amnokgang

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up to the North Korea squad within the last twelve months.[citation needed]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up


MF Ri Un-il (1998-08-15) 15 August 1998 (age 21) 5 0 North Korea Kigwancha v.  Sri Lanka, 10 September 2019

FW Rim Kwang-hyok (1992-08-05) 5 August 1992 (age 27) 11 3 North Korea Kigwancha 2019 Intercontinental Cup
FW Ri Hyong-jin (1993-07-19) 19 July 1993 (age 26) 6 3 North Korea April 25 2019 Intercontinental Cup
FW Jo Sol-song (1995-10-27) 27 October 1995 (age 24) 1 0 North Korea Pyongyang 2019 Intercontinental Cup

Records[edit]

As of 7 June 2019. Players in bold are still active at international level.

Honours[edit]

Kit providers[edit]

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

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ North Korea matches, ratings and points exchanged
  4. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b North Korea at World Football Elo Ratings
  6. ^ "World Cup 2010 team guide: North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  7. ^ "When Middlesbrough hosted the 1966 World Cup Koreans". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  8. ^ "The Game of their Lives". BBC News. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010.
  9. ^ "XXI. Olympiad Montreal 1976 Football Tournament". rsssf.com. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  10. ^ "N Korea football violence erupts". BBC News. 30 March 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  11. ^ Peck, Grant (6 July 2005). "No fans allowed at Japan, North Korea qualifying match". USA Today. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  12. ^ "North Korea qualify for World Cup". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  13. ^ "World Cup guide – North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Groups and Standings". FIFA. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  15. ^ "North Korea revive World Cup memories". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  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. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.

External links[edit]