Established in 1945, the football association was accepted in to FIFA in 1958. In 1966 they qualified for their first ever FIFA World Cup finals and starred, progressing to the final 8 teams. In 1976 they also participated in the Montreal Olympics. Following that the men’s team were absent from the world stage for a long period but their recent reemergence has been big news in DPR Korea as well.
In June 2009 DPR Korea earned qualification for their first World Cup finals in 44 years. Between 30,000 and 50,000 fans would cheer their team on at home games during qualification. Their national pride expressed through football was clearly felt. The popularity of football remains unchanged and the skills of the players has continued to increase. A scouting system is in place to promote those players who excel in the national league taking place across the country. The improvement in level is also being led by a group of overseas based players such as FW HONG Yong Jo who plays in the Russian league and J-League FW JONG Tae Se and K-League MF AN Yong Hak who all put their experiences with the national team to good use abroad.
The Women’s team regularly finishes at the top of the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup and currently the youth team is competitive at the top international level. The country that surprised the world by beating giants Italy in 1966 is once more preparing to give the world a shock.