North Korea appalled by ‘thug football’…letter to FIFA-AFC
The Japan Football Association has reportedly submitted a letter to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) pointing out North Korea’s behavior at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, including protesting referees and threatening its own staff.
According to Japanese sports media outlet Nikkan Sports on Wednesday, the Japan Football Association sent video footage to the two organizations on Wednesday, saying that North Korean players’ behavior during the men’s soccer quarterfinal match at the Xiaoshan Sports Center Stadium 텍사스홀덤 in China’s Zhejiang province on June 1 was “anti-sporting.
“Video footage of certain scenes was sent to the two agencies, but it was not disclosed what they were,” Nikkan Sports added.
The North Korean players, who were losing 2-1 to Japan at the time, ran to the referee after the final whistle to protest strongly.
Dissatisfied with the referee’s decision to award a penalty kick that led to Japan’s winning goal, some players pushed the referee with their bodies and arms, making threatening gestures.
When the players’ behavior got out of hand, North Korean coaches stepped in to break them up.
One player was even warned for threatening the Japanese medical staff who entered the field during a brief stoppage in play.
“It’s true that (the players) were a bit excited by the wrong call today,” North Korean coach Kim Jong Nam said in the post-match press conference, adding, “I think it’s an insult to soccer when referees are not fair.”