Japanese media analyzes the reasons behind North Korea’s “thug football” in the men’s soccer quarterfinal match between North Korea and Japan at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
The men’s soccer quarterfinal match between North Korea and Japan at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Xiaoshan Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, on Jan. 1 (local time) featured some unsportsmanlike conduct that shocked the world.
The North Koreans, who had organized themselves so well that they had won all three of their group games to reach the round of 16, defeated Bahrain, who were in the same group as the national team, to reach the quarterfinals. Against Japan, a 0-0 halftime scoreline kept their hopes of reaching the semifinals alive, but they conceded a goal in the fifth minute of the second half to Kotaro Uchino.
Kim Kook-beom equalized in the 29th minute with a cool mid-range goal, but just six minutes later, Yuta Matsumura scored a penalty kick winner, resulting in a 1-2 loss. North Korean soccer, making its first international appearance in five years, packed up in the quarterfinals.
After the game, North Korean players engaged in threatening behavior, swarming the referee and protesting as a group. Stadium officials had to rush to separate the players from the referee.
It wasn’t the only incident. Kim Yoo-sung, a defender born in 2003, started drinking from a water bottle when a Japanese staff member brought a cooler and took it out to give water to the Japanese players in the 28th minute of the second half with North Korea down 0-1. When the Japanese staffer said something in protest, Kim made a fist with his left hand with the intention of hitting the staffer on the cheek, but then did something incomprehensible: he continued to drink the water. The Japanese players around him also raised their arms in disbelief. The referee immediately pulled out a yellow card for Kim Yoo-sung.
North Korean coach Kim Yong Nam said, “It’s true that some players were excited, but the referee was not fair. This is an insult to soccer,” reportedly complaining about the referee’s decision, raising eyebrows.카지노사이트
Having been pummeled by North Korea’s thug football, Japan has begun to analyze why the unsportsmanlike play occurred. The global edition of the Asahi Shimbun published an article titled “5 reasons why North Korean soccer ran to the referee after losing to Japan” on February 2, analyzing the reasons for North Korea’s unruly behavior.
One of them was the treatment of athletes, which varies depending on their performance. “The Hangzhou Asian Games were also a ‘heaven or hell’ event for North Korean athletes. Until now, the Asian Games have not been a major international event in North Korea compared to the Olympics and World Cup. There was a perception that reaching the final was a given at the Asian Games,” he said.
“If these athletes lose in the quarterfinals, they may not get a chance to compete in the next international tournament,” he said. “They may be taken to the ‘Rodong Training Center’. If not that, at least it will be harder for them to get the job they want. They have to be prepared to go to the military,” he said, analyzing the potential loss of freedom for North Korean athletes.
“If they had done well in the tournament, they would have been given the opportunity to play on a bigger international stage. They could have become like Han Kwang-sung, who was once called North Korea’s Ronaldo and played in Italy, but that was just a dream.”
He added four other reasons: sports are like war in North Korea, soccer is the most popular sport, Kim Jong-un is the center of attention, and the country has a “can’t lose to Japan” mentality with a strong anti-Japanese sentiment.