In the Asian Games quarterfinals, a heated match took place between North Korea and Japan in Hangzhou. The match ended 2-1 in the favour of the Japanese which would see them face Hong Kong in the semi-finals.
The match was a very heated and intense affair with the North Korean players being extremely aggressive. During the second half’s drink breaks, a North Korean player Kim Yusong took a water bottle from the Japanese staff and even threatened to hit him. The referee was close by to see the incident and gave the North Korean a much-deserved yellow card.
During a soccer match between North Korea and Japan, North Korean players took water from the Japanese team and threw it away. pic.twitter.com/HFOjpkzwsM
— 🇯🇵Naoemon Japan (@woiiw) October 1, 2023
It didn’t stop there for the North Koreans as after the match ended they chased the referee and even tried to assault him. They had to be stopped by the ground staff. Captain Jang Kuk Chol and teammate Kim Kyong were two of the players who reacted the most against referee Rustam Lutfullin. With the situation looking more and more dense, the North Korean coach also went to the pitch to control his players.
During the match, Lutfullin awarded a penalty in favor of the Japanese which seemed to have angered the North Korean players. The Japanese head coach, Go Oiwa during the post-match interview when asked about the match simply said, “This match was as we expected. There are some things (we are) not happy about in the match but basically we can accept that.”
He said that losing a match and protesting to the referee for a wrong decision is fine but violence towards the match officials and opposition staff should not be tolerated.
North Korean players should be given punishment worthy of their actions but with FIFA not being the governing body for the competition and the constant turmoil North Korea faces, it seems like the players would just get off with some warnings.
How the world reacted after the heated match between Japan and North Korea
Japan and North Korea ended their match 2-1 but with lots of talking points primarily about the North Korean players. With videos of North Korean players surfacing online about how they reacted during the match, football fans all over the world have shared their opinions.
A user on Twitter posted the video of North Korean players pushing around the referee with the caption “FIFA What do you think of this? In the battle between Japan and North Korea. I don’t understand what these North Korean players are thinking, that they are doing this violence because they lost”
FIFA What do you think of this?
In the battle between Japan and North Korea
I don’t understand what these North Korean players are thinking, that they are doing this violence because they lost.🙄 pic.twitter.com/XVsG9UzR7X
— くまごん (@LiSAWILDCANDY) October 1, 2023
In the video showing Yusong drinking water stolen from the Japanese staff, a user commented “Zero shits given”. Another user commented saying”Uncrticial support”, The post also had comments like “This has a name: losers”, bye bye north Korea.”
— Mothership (@MothershipSG) October 2, 2023
In a different video that shows Yusong trying to hit the Japanese staff, a user gave a cheeky reaction by saying “LOL wkwk”. One even reacted by saying “Wah now want to MMA instead of soccer”. Needless to say, fans online were disgusted by the behavior of the North Korean team and are glad they are no longer a part of the competition.