The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea national football team (known by FIFA as Korea DPR) represents North Korea in men’s international football and is represented by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body of football in North Korea. It is controlled by the governing body. The team represents both FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). North Korea Football History.

CountryNorth Korea
YearAll Years

In their debut at the 1966 World Cup, North Korea reached the quarterfinals and defeated Italy in the group stage to become the first Asian men’s team to make it out of the group stage. During the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, controversy arose when the team’s supporters rioted and, due to North Korea’s failure to qualify, interfered with the opponents’ safe exit from the stadium.

In 2009, the team qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the second World Cup in its history. North Korea has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup five times. In 1980, when they finished fourth, in 1992, in 2011, in 2015, and in 2019. The current team is made up of North Korean natives and Koreans affiliated with Chongryon of Japanese origin.

Early History

The North Korea Football Association was founded in 1945. It became a member of the AFC during the first year of the confederation’s existence in 1954 and has been associated with FIFA since 1958. The first official match of the North Korean national football team was on 22 March 1964 in Rangoon, against Burma, as part of the 1964 Olympic qualifiers.

The first match in North Korea’s qualifying history ended in a goalless draw, 0-0. Thanks to their victory over the Burmese in the second leg, the Cholams advanced to the next round against Thailand, a two-legged affair also held in Rangoon. They won easily (7-0 over two matches), but were forced to withdraw from the final stage of the tournament because the IOC decided to ban any athlete from participating in GANEFO—which many of the national team teams have been unable to do. Footballers did.

National Team

In 1965, the national team again participated in GANEFO, and in 1966 qualified for the World Cup for the first time. This year, FIFA decided to put all the entrants from Africa, Asia, and Oceania into a single qualifying group, with the aim of offering only one place. All registered African countries withdrew from the competition in protest, except for North Korea and Australia.

The Australians started as favorites, but the North Koreans showed composure and great discipline to win both matches (6-1 and 3-1) and qualify for the final stage. North Korea’s competence poses a diplomatic problem for the host nation, Britain. Since the Korean War, they have not recognized the legitimacy of the Pyongyang government and will not fly its flag or play its national anthem. The problem was partially resolve before the competition began in July 1966. The North Korean flag was flow along with other participants but the national anthem was not play before the matches in Colima.

1966 FIFA World Cup

At the 1966 FIFA World Cup, they were draw in Group 4 with the USSR, Italy, and Chile, the first time North Korea would face teams from another continent. Collins lost their first game against the Soviet Union, then managed a 1–1 draw against Chile. The final match, against the Italian double world champions, was crucial, as the winner would earn their ticket to the quarter-finals. Myung Rae-Hyun’s men’s semi-military discipline saw them to a 1-0 win over the Italians with a goal from Pak Do-ak, a victory that qualified an Asian side for the World Cup quarter-finals. given the opportunity to do it the first time.

Along with this, the public started to take interest in these disciplined athletes of the closed country. He was welcome by the locals in the town of Middlesbrough, where he was statione, including the team’s star players, Pak Seung-zin and Pak Doak. North Korea faced Portugal in the quarter-finals.

After 25 minutes of play, the Koreans led 3-0 but began to lose their discipline. Eusebio made it four goals with another goal from Jose Augusto. North Korea lost the match 5-3. When the North Korean players returned home, the crowd gave them a hero’s ovation. Pak Seung-jin is North Korea’s top scorer at the FIFA World Cup with two goals in four matches.

AFC Asian Cup

Sanctions imposed by the AFC on North Korea precluded it from participating in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Led by coach Kim Jong-Hun, the selection entered the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, a competition reserved for so-called developing countries by the AFC and whose winner qualified directly for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

North Korea has had a good run in the selection, finishing on the third step of the podium, after a semi-final defeat against Tajikistan, then a big win against Myanmar in the third-place match (4-0).

2010 World Cup

In the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Cholimus easily shut out Mongolia (4-1 and 5-1), then finished second behind South Korea, without losing or even conceding a goal. North Korea once again finished second behind South Korea and qualified for the final stage of the World Cup, forty-four years after 1966. Both matches against the Taeguk Warriors had to be a move to China in order to play the Korean national anthem. Or raise the country’s flag.

Later in the year, the North Koreans defeated Hong Kong to qualify for the 2008 East Asian Football Championship. During that four-man final played in Chongqing, China, they finished last with two draws (against Japan and South Korea, who went on to win the tournament and a loss against China). North Korea Football History.

Best Performance

To prepare for the World Cup and get used to the European style of play. The North Korean team is holding a preparatory camp in France in the fall of 2009. 44 years after its last appearance in Europe. On this occasion, they played two friendly matches: against FC Nantes on 9 October in La Roche-sur-Yon (0–0). And against Congo on 13 October in Le Mans (0–0). In early 2010, a few months before the World Cup, North Korea participated in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup with the winner automatically qualifying for the final stage of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Under the leadership of Kim Jong-Hun, Chalmas performed brilliantly in the competition. North Korea Football History.

After topping their first-round group, ahead of Turkmenistan, they swept Burma 5–0 in the semi-finals. Before winning, after a penalty shoot-out, to face the Turkmen once again in the final. This achievement allowed them to make it to the continental finals, ten years after their last appearance. It is also the first title won by the men’s national team. The following month, in February. The North Koreans competed in the 2010 East Asian Football Championship where they entered the second round. For the first time, they did not reach the final pool, losing to Hong Kong on goal difference.

North Korea is the best team

At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, during their match against Brazil, North Korea lost 1–2. But managed to score a late goal through Ji Yun Nam. Their match against Portugal ended in a 7–0 defeat, the heaviest in the selection’s history. After trailing 1-0 at halftime, they conceded six goals in the second half. North Korea Football History.

This match also marks North Korea’s exit from the World Cup. The match was unusually broadcast in North Korea. As no foreign programs are usually broadcast on state television. But the broadcast was interrupt when the North Koreans were losing 4–0. The last meeting, against Cote d’Ivoire, also ended in a heavy defeat with a score of 3-0. For more details click here