After losing to Japan in the World Cup quarter-finals…
When the referee blew the whistle to end the match with Japan leading 2-1, North Korean players ran to the referee and protested strongly.
Some players pushed the referee with their bodies and arms and made threatening gestures.
They were unhappy with the referee’s decision to award a penalty kick that led to Japan’s winning goal.
In the 35th minute of the second half, when the teams were one-on-one, the North Korean goalkeeper threw himself to block a Japanese shot, but the collision caused the referee to award a penalty, believing that North Korea had been fouled in defence.
The North Korean players then protested furiously for several minutes. However, they were unsuccessful, leading to Japan’s goal.
The North Koreans, who had lost the game, protested fiercely after the game ended.
The players were pushing the referee so hard that the North Korean coaches had to tear them apart.
It’s not uncommon for players to protest against referees in football matches, but this one seemed to cross the line when they got physical with the referee. Even third-country journalists watching the game frowned upon the behaviour as “over the top”.
At the post-match press conference, North Korea’s head coach was asked about the situation.
“There was a scene in today’s game where two or three players were a little bit excited, and they were excited by the wrong (referee’s) call,” Shin said, expressing his dissatisfaction with the call and defending his players.
“It’s true that (the players) were a little bit excited by the wrong call today,” he said when asked repeatedly by reporters if he thought the players’ protest was desirable, adding, “I think it’s an insult to football if the referees are not fair.”
Earlier in the day, Japan defeated North Korea 2-1. Japan will play the winner of Iran-Hong Kong in the semi-finals on Thursday. 안전놀이터