May 19, 2024

How Kim Il Sung’s friendship with a king led North Korea to the World Cup

Cambodia hosted the preliminary match against Australia, setting the stage for the DPRK's iconic upset of Italy

Mention Italy to any North Korean and they will almost certainly bring up the 1966 World Cup, when the DPRK shocked “The Blue” to reach the quarterfinals. 

Sadly, North Korea’s soccer teams are unlikely to replicate this success any time soon due to COVID-19 concerns. The DPRK has withdrawn from one major international competition after another, including the Summer Olympics now underway in Tokyo.

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