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N. Korean Soccer Player Kicks Referee

Posted July. 29, 2006 03:00,   


The Chinese media reported that female North Korean players attacked a female referee in protest of a wrong call after the semi-final match (North Korea-China) of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup held on July 27 in Australia.

The incident started with a line umpire declaring the North’s equalizer offside two minutes before the end of the second half while China was leading by one goal.

It turned out that it was a wrong call on TV, but the Italian chief referee didn’t accept it and let the game continue.

The referee did not allow two borderline North Korean penalty calls during the game, and Chinese media outlets pointed out the referee missed calls for North Korea.

After the game, North Korean players made a protest against the referee. During the protest by the North, the referee gave red card to the North’s goalkeeper Han Hye Young for pushing her, and the situation suddenly got worse. The audiences booed and threw water bottles in the stadium and the referee had to go out to the rest room under the police escort.

Han Hye Young then assaulted the referee with a kick as she was going out, and other players threw a water bottle at her, according to media reports. However, some witnesses said that although a player tried to kick the referee, she wasn’t hit. North Korean substitute players who were sitting on the bench then joined the attack against the referee by pushing her with an elbow, which made matters worse.