North Korea loses to Japan in Asian Games football match, players surround referee & push him

Japan advanced to the semi-finals.

Sulaiman Daud | October 02, 2023, 01:49 PM



An Asian Games football pitch became the scene of a heated confrontation, after the team of North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) surrounded and remonstrated with the referee following their defeat to Japan.

The Men's Quarter Final took place on Oct. 1 in Hangzhou, China. North Korea took an early lead, before Japan equalised and ultimately won the match with a late penalty by Matsumura Yuta.

Joy for Japan, but outrage by North Korea, with goalkeeper Kang Juh Yok arguing with the referee before the penalty was taken.

After the final whistle, North Korean players surrounded and confronted the referee, Rustam Lutfullin of Uzbekistan, with some laying their hands on him.

Other officials could be seen lining up in front of the referee to separate him from the North Korean players.

According to Reutersthe North Korea team manager Sin Yong Nam ran onto the pitch to his players to try and defuse the tension.

Following the match, Sin said his players were a "little over-excited", but their behaviour was "acceptable."

Japan team manager Go Oiwa said the match was as he expected, and there were some things he was unhappy with, but he could basically accept them.

Japan will now take on Hong Kong in the semi-final. The other semi-finalists are Uzbekistan and South Korea.

Top image from Jipjungonspurs on X.