North Korea national football team

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Korea DPR
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Chollima (천리마)
Association DPR Korea Football Association
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Kim Chang-bok
Captain Ri Myong-guk
Most caps Pak Nam-Chol (75)
Top scorer Jong Tae-Se (15)
Home stadium Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang
FIFA code PRK
FIFA ranking 129 Increase 17 (9 July 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 57 (November 1993)
Lowest FIFA ranking 181 (November 1998)
Elo ranking 87 (June 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 26 (July 1966)
Lowest Elo ranking 98 (31 March 2015)
First colours
Second colours
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

The Democratic People's Republic of 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]

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.

1976 Olympic football tournament[edit]

The North Korea football team finished second in their group in the 1976 Summer Olympics, although 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, they 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 to 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 were 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. The final match against Côte d'Ivoire on 25 June was lost 0-3. 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)

20 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 Yaya Touré Goal 14'
Romaric Goal 20'
Kalou Goal 82'

Recent and Upcoming Games[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
21 February 2014 Zabeel Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Iraq 0–2 Friendly
31 October 2014 Abu Dhabi, UAE  Kuwait 0–1 Friendly
2 November 2014 Riffa, Bahrain  Bahrain 2–2 Friendly
6 November 2014 Doha, Qatar  Qatar 1–3 Friendly
13 November 2014 Taipei City, Taiwan  Hong Kong 2–1 Friendly
16 November 2014 Taipei City, Taiwan  Guam 5–1 Friendly
19 November 2014 Taipei City, Taiwan  Chinese Taipei 0–0 Friendly
10 January 2015 Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia  Uzbekistan 0–1 2015 AFC Asian Cup
14 January 2015 Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia  Saudi Arabia 1–4 2015 AFC Asian Cup
18 January 2015 Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Australia  China PR 1–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup
17 May 2015 Mỹ Đình National Stadium, Hanoi, Vietnam  Vietnam 1–1 Friendly
20 May 2015 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 1–0 Friendly
11 June 2015 Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Yemen 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
16 June 2015 Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea  Uzbekistan 4–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 August 2015 Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China  Japan 2–1 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
5 August 2015 Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China  China PR 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
9 August 2015 Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China  South Korea 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
3 September 2015 Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa, Bahrain  Bahrain 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 October 2015 Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea  Philippines 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 October 2015 Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea  Yemen 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 November 2015 Bunyodkor Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan  Uzbekistan 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
17 November 2015 Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea  Bahrain 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

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]

For more details on this topic, see East Asian Cup.
  • 2003Withdrew
  • 2005 – Third place in Final Tournament
  • 2008 – Fourth Place in Final Tournament
  • 2010Did not qualify
  • 2013Did not qualify
  • 2015TBD

Nehru Cup[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Kim Chang-bok  North Korea
Assistant coach Kwon Ryong-jun  North Korea
Goalkeeper coach Kim Myong-chol  North Korea

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were selected for the 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup. Caps and goals updated as of 18 January 2015.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Ri Myong-guk (1986-09-09)9 September 1986 (aged 28) 68 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
18 1GK Ri Kwang-il (1988-04-13)13 April 1988 (aged 27) 3 0 North Korea April 25
21 1GK Kim Il-kwang (1992-02-27)27 February 1992 (aged 23) 0 0 North Korea Kigwancha
2 2DF Jang Song-hyok (1991-01-18)18 January 1991 (aged 24) 20 4 North Korea Rimyongsu
3 2DF Jang Kuk-chol (1994-02-16)16 February 1994 (aged 21) 15 3 North Korea Hwaebul
5 2DF Han Song-hyok (1987-12-11)11 December 1987 (aged 27) 2 0 North Korea Hwaebul
6 2DF Kang Kuk-chol (1990-07-01)1 July 1990 (aged 25) 13 0 North Korea Pyongyang City
12 2DF Jon Kwang-ik (1988-04-05)5 April 1988 (aged 27) 44 2 North Korea Amrokgang
13 2DF Sim Hyon-jin (1991-01-01)1 January 1991 (aged 24) 10 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
15 2DF Ri Yong-chol (1991-01-18)18 January 1991 (aged 24) 7 0 North Korea Kyonggongop
4 3MF Ri Sang-chol (1990-12-26)26 December 1990 (aged 24) 5 2 North Korea Amnokgang
11 3MF Jong Il-gwan (1992-10-30)30 October 1992 (aged 22) 31 6 North Korea Rimyongsu
14 3MF So Kyong-jin (1994-01-08)8 January 1994 (aged 21) 5 0 North Korea Sobaeksu
16 3MF Ro Hak-su (1990-01-19)19 January 1990 (aged 25) 18 3 North Korea Rimyongsu
17 3MF So Hyon-uk (1992-04-17)17 April 1992 (aged 23) 10 1 North Korea April 25
22 3MF Ri Yong-jik (1991-02-08)8 February 1991 (aged 24) 4 0 Japan V-Varen Nagasaki
23 3MF Ri Chol-myong (1988-02-18)18 February 1988 (aged 27) 39 7 North Korea Pyongyang City
7 4FW Ri Hyok-chol (1985-10-14)14 October 1985 (aged 29) 10 4 North Korea Rimyongsu
8 4FW Kim Yong-gwang (1992-09-18)18 September 1992 (aged 22) 0 0 North Korea Hwaebul
9 4FW Pak Kwang-ryong (1992-09-27)27 September 1992 (aged 22) 18 4 Switzerland FC Biel-Bienne
10 4FW An Byong-jun (1990-05-22)22 May 1990 (aged 25) 4 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale
19 4FW Hong Kum-song (1990-06-03)3 June 1990 (aged 25) 8 1 North Korea April 25
20 4FW Pak Hyon-il (1993-09-21)21 September 1993 (aged 21) 2 0 North Korea Amrokgang

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the North Korea squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Ju Kwang-min (1990-05-20) 20 May 1990 (age 25) 14 0 North Korea Rimyongsu 2015 AFC Asian Cup
DF Ri Chang-ho (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 25) 1 0 North Korea Rimyongsu 2015 AFC Asian Cup
DF Cha Jong-hyok (1985-09-25) 25 September 1985 (age 29) 45 0 Switzerland Wil 1900 2015 AFC Asian Cup
MF Ryang Yong-gi (1982-07-01) 1 July 1982 (age 33) 24 5 Japan Vegalta Sendai 2015 AFC Asian Cup
MF Pak Song-chol (1987-09-24) 24 September 1987 (age 27) 39 11 North Korea Rimyongsu 2015 AFC Asian Cup
MF O Hyok-chol (1991-08-02) 2 August 1991 (age 24) 6 1 North Korea April 25 2015 AFC Asian Cup
FW Om Chol-song (1992-11-12) 12 November 1992 (age 22) 2 0 North Korea April 25 2015 AFC Asian Cup
FW Kye Song-hyok (1992-11-12) 12 November 1992 (age 22) 3 1 North Korea April 25 2015 AFC Asian Cup
FW Choe Won (1992-11-25) 25 November 1992 (age 22) 5 0 North Korea Hwaebul 2015 AFC Asian Cup

Kit providers[edit]

North Korea's official kit provider is currently produced by Italian company Legea. Also sponsoring the team are Koryolink, a telecommunication company from Pyongyang.

Period Kit Provider
1948–1992 United Kingdom Admiral
1992–2002 Italy Fila
2002–2003 Italy Lotto
2003–2006 Germany Adidas
2006–2007 United Kingdom Umbro
2007–2008 Denmark Hummel
2008–2010 China ERKE
2010–present Italy Legea

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ North Korea matches, ratings and points exchanged
  2. ^ "World Cup 2010 team guide: North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "When Middlesbrough hosted the 1966 World Cup Koreans". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "The Game of their Lives". BBC News. 
  5. ^ "XXI. Olympiad Montreal 1976 Football Tournament". rsssf.com. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "N Korea football violence erupts". BBC News. March 30, 2005. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ Peck, Grant (15 June 2010). "No fans allowed at Japan, North Korea qualifying match". USA Today. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "North Korea qualify for World Cup". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "World Cup guide – North Korea". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Groups and Standings". FIFA. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "North Korea revive World Cup memories". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Frayer, Lauren (16 June 2010). "Diplomats: North Korean Soccer Fans Are Genuine". Aol News (Cape Town, South Africa). Retrieved 12 July 2010. 

External links[edit]