North Korea national football team

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Korea DPR
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Chollima Football Team (천리마 축구단)
Association DPR Korea Football Association
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Jørn Andersen
Captain Ri Myong-guk
Most caps Ri Myong-guk (87)
Top scorer Jong Tae-se (15)
Home stadium Kim Il-sung Stadium
FIFA code PRK
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 113 Increase 1 (6 July 2017)
Highest 57 (November 1993)
Lowest 181 (October–November 1998)
Elo ranking
Current 76 Steady (7 May 2017)
Highest 26 (July 1966)
Lowest 98 (31 March 2015)
First international
North Korea North Korea 1–0 China PR 
(Beijing, China; October 7, 1956)[1]
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 4 (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

The North Korea national football team (recognized as Korea DPR by FIFA and known colloquially and in the media as North Korea[2]) 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. Controversy arose during the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers, when the team's supporters caused problems because of the team'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[edit]

1966 World Cup[edit]

Qualification[edit]

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[edit]

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 Asian team to progress beyond the first round of the World Cup finals.[3] In a 1999 documentary featuring interviews with surviving members of the team,[4] they describe themselves as having been welcomed home as national heroes.


12 July 1966
19:30 BST
Soviet Union  3–0  North Korea
Malofeyev Goal 31'88'
Banishevskiy Goal 33'
Report

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Chile  1–1  North Korea
Marcos Goal 26' (pen.) Report Pak Seung-zin Goal 88'

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
North Korea  1–0  Italy
Pak Doo-ik Goal 42' Report
Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 17,829
Referee: Pierre Schwinte (France)

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
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'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 40,248
Referee: Menachem Ashkenazi (Israel)

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.[5]

2006 World Cup qualifying stage controversy[edit]

In March 2005, the North Korean team entered a match with Iran with limited chances of qualifying for the World Cup finals due to poor performance in early fixtures. During the match hosted in Pyongyang, 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.[6] 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 at an empty stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.[7]

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.[8] 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 rely on Iran not winning in a match against South Korea. In the end, after possessing the same number of points as Saudi Arabia, North Korea qualified through goal difference.[9][10] 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[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.[11] The draw placed North Korea in Group G. They played their first match against five-time winners Brazil on 15 June, with Brazil winning 2–1 in a game where North Korea was well organized defensively and showed resilience, frustrating the Brazilians. Despite their best efforts, they were nevertheless outmatched and eventually broken down. Maicon's relief was visible after his goal to finally put Brazil ahead.

In their next game against Portugal on 21 June, they were defeated 0–7. Despite starting well (as against Brazil), with a defensive, well organised approach, once Portugal scored their first, the Koreans' defense unravelled and the rest followed with relative ease. They 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, to whom North Korea administration sold their share of tickets.[12] North Korea subsequently denied the report, claiming that a small number were permitted to travel to the World Cup. There were reports that the North Korean government punished the coach and players of the team by sending them on a hard labour in mines. However, FIFA's investigators could not confirm that.[13]


Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 7
 Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 +7 5
 Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4
 North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 −11 0


15 June 2010
20:30
Brazil  2–1  North Korea
Maicon Goal 55'
Elano Goal 72'
Report Ji Yun-Nam Goal 89'
Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
Attendance: 54,331
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

21 June 2010
13:30
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
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Attendance: 63,644
Referee: Pablo Pozo (Chile)



25 June 2010
16:00
North Korea  0–3  Ivory Coast
Report Y. Touré Goal 14'
Romaric Goal 20'
Kalou Goal 82'

Recent and upcoming games[edit]

Competitive records[edit]

AFC Challenge Cup record[edit]

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[edit]

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

Nehru Cup[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Jørn Andersen  Norwegian[14]
Assistant coach Kim Jong-min  North Korean
Goalkeeper coach Pak Kyong-chol  North Korean

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were selected for the 2017 King's Cup.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Ri Myong-guk (1986-09-09)9 September 1986 (aged 30) 76 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
1GK Ri Kwang-il (1988-04-13)13 April 1988 (aged 29) 3 0 North Korea April 25
1GK Kim Kwang-chol (1993-06-02)2 June 1993 (aged 24) 0 0 North Korea

2DF Sim Hyon-jin (1991-01-01)1 January 1991 (aged 26) 25 1 North Korea Sobaeksu
2DF Kang Kuk-chol (1990-06-01)1 June 1990 (aged 27) 7 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
2DF Jang Kuk-chol (1994-04-02)2 April 1994 (aged 23) 33 3 North Korea Hwaebul
2DF Kim Chol-Bom (1994-07-16)16 July 1994 (aged 23) 1 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
2DF Ri Yong-chol (1991-01-08)8 January 1991 (aged 26) 11 0 North Korea Kyonggongop

3MF Myong Cha-hyon (1990-03-20)20 March 1990 (aged 27) 3 2 North Korea April 25
3MF Yun Il-gwang (1993-04-01)1 April 1993 (aged 24) 1 0 North Korea Chadongcha
3MF Ju Jong-Chol (1990-09-12)12 September 1990 (aged 26) 1 0 North Korea Amrokkang
3MF Pak Myong-Song (1994-03-31)31 March 1994 (aged 23) 2 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
3MF Ri Kum-chol (1991-12-09)9 December 1991 (aged 25) 2 0 North Korea
3MF So Kyong-jin (1994-01-08)8 January 1994 (aged 23) 9 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
3MF Ri Sang-chol (1990-12-26)26 December 1990 (aged 26) 9 0 North Korea Amrokgang
3MF So Hyon-uk (1992-04-17)17 April 1992 (aged 25) 28 2 North Korea April 25

4FW Pak Song-chol (1987-09-24)24 September 1987 (aged 29) 39 11 North Korea Rimyongsu
4FW Song Kum-Il (1994-05-10)10 May 1994 (aged 23) 0 0 North Korea Rimyongsu
4FW Choe Ju-song (1996-01-27)27 January 1996 (aged 21) 0 0 North Korea Amrokkang
4FW Jo Kwang (1994-08-05)5 August 1994 (aged 22) 1 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
4FW Rim Kwang-hyok (1992-08-05)5 August 1992 (aged 24) 1 0 North Korea Kigwancha
4FW Kim Ju-song (1993-10-15)15 October 1993 (aged 23) 5 0 North Korea April 25

Records[edit]

As of March 29, 2016. Players in bold are still active at international level.