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North Korea

 Playing in Pyongyang: North Korea

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your football life?

My name is Ri. I am from North Korea and am a guide with Koryo Tours. I’m not much of a football fan, I will sometimes watch it on TV though, and attend some games with tourists in Pyongyang also. I prefer basketball, and playing volleyball.

Who is in the photos?

Two teams were playing at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, during the Pyongyang Marathon in April 2019.

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What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?

I am very busy as a guide. On this day there was football happening during the Marathon, which starts in the stadium, so I had the chance to take photos up close. I just tried to show some action.

Are there any good stories connected with the people or teams you photographed?

I’m sure there are good stories. But I don’t know any!

Why is football so important for North Korea and its people?

It’s the most popular sport for people to watch and we have had a lot of success with our women’s teams during the last few years. We hope the men’s team has the same success eventually. 

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What role does football play in North Korean society?

It is popular, but many people only pay a little attention to it. It isn’t as important as in some other places like England or Germany.

What is the future for North Korean football?

There has been a lot of investment recently and a new football school opened in Pyongyang. Hopefully there will be some more international success!

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