North Korea News

(Asiad) N. Korea unhappy with officiating in final

2014/10/03 04:20

By Yoo Jee-ho and Oh Seok-min

INCHEON, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- In the aftermath of South Korea's thrilling 1-0 victory over North Korea in the men's football gold medal match on Thursday, losing coach Yun Jong-su got into an animated argument with officials.

South Korea's Rim Chang-woo scored in the dying moments of the second extra period. The goal came on the end of a bizarre play, during which a North Korean midfielder, Ri Yong-jik, kept the ball out of the net with his hand.

When South Korean Lee Yong-jae took a shot on a loose ball, Ri deflected the ball with his hand to his right and his teammate So Hyon-uk kicked it out of the harm's way.

Only the ball landed at Rim, who put it right into the wide-open net for the dramatic win.

Though reasons for his argument weren't immediately known, Yun might have been wondering why a penalty wasn't called on Ri for handling the ball.

With the play still developing at the moment of Ri's contact with the ball near the goal line, the referee, Abdullah Dor Mohammad Balideh of Qatar, decided not to blow it dead, using his own discretion to give South Korea the advantage.

Whistling the foul on that particular play would actually have hurt South Korea. If Ri had been called for handling, South Korea would have been awarded a penalty, with no guarantee that its penalty taker would have converted the chance.

If South Korea missed on the penalty, then the match would have gone into the shootout, which would have given North Korea a fighting chance to win the gold medal.

In sum, North Korea would actually have benefited from Ri's handling of the ball. As it was, South Korea scored merely seconds before the final whistle.

A day before his team was to face South Korea for the men's football gold medal at the Asian Games, North Korean head coach Yun said he wanted to see fair officiating in the eagerly anticipated match.

North Korea got past Iraq 1-0 in extra time in the semifinals, and Yun told reporters on Wednesday, the eve of the final, that he hadn't been happy with how the game was called.

Yun also said as long as the referees called the gold medal match fair and square, then the two Koreans would put on a good show.

Given the stirring finish to the match, some 47,000 fans at Munhak Stadium surely got their money's worth.

Yun clearly wasn't among the delighted.

In his post-match press conference, Yun complained that the main referee and an assistant referee made different calls on that scoring play.

"Tonight, an assistant referee raised his flag (to signal a penalty), but then the main referee kept the play going," the North Korean coach said. "Because of the assistant referees, our players stopped in their tracks."

   During the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals match between Uruguay and Ghana, Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez stopped a Ghanan shot with his hand in the final minute of extra time.

Suarez was sent off and Ghana received a penalty. However, Asamoah Gyan hit the crossbar with the kick and the match went into the shootout. Uruguay prevailed 4-2 on penalties.