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North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships!

By Jonny Blair

Somebody got an amazing chance to watch their first football ‘World Cup Final’ recently, in Hong Kong! A World Cup Final with a difference of course as this is the Unofficial Football World Championship which is totally separate from the 4 yearly World Cup. The Unofficial Football World Championship operates on a simple system – a bit like Boxing – if you beat the reigning champion you take the title of them and become the winner! Believe it or not, this dates back to the England versus Scotland match in 1872 and each match since then that has involved the ‘world champion’ has been labelled as a World Title Match!! England were the first winners of the ‘trophy’. There is a full table and league system for the UFWC (Scotland are currently far ahead). Have a go at working out the system, but basically a team gets 1 point for a win when they play a World Champions Match and zero for a draw. Only international matches involving the current champion count.

As a football obsessive, you will love the idea of this competition as a wacky alternative to the more Official FIFA World Cup. However until recently someone didn’t get the chance to see a live UFWC match. But following Australia’s draw with North Korea, this meant that the recent Hong Kong v North Korea match would be an unofficial World Cup Final.

So finally I could attend! I’m currently living in Hong Kong and so I headed over to Hong Kong Island for this spectacle.

I was like a kid – all excited – check out the photo of my match ticket and you’ll see what a ticket to the Unofficial World Cup Final looks like! A collector’s item (at least for me!).

I headed over to Hong Kong Stadium on HK Island for the match – I went with 3 others and it was a fun day out. The price to get in was 80 HKD (basically 6.40 UK and $10.30 USD). The views inside and around the stadium are immense. Skyscrapers and hills almost hide the sky on you!

Skyscrapers are everywhere in Hong Kong – you just can’t miss them unless you are well out into the New Territories. This means the views are normally stunning. The views from within and around the national Hong Kong Stadium are typically impressive.

But it was the football that we came for and despite Hong Kong holding out for the first half hour or so, they soon conceded 3 to give North Korea full control. Hong Kong did have some running and ideas in them but ultimately lacked skill and strength. In the second half North Korea added one more goal, to make the final score 4-0 and maintain the title of unofficial World Champions for North Korea.

North Korea looked a good side and worthy of their title as Unofficial World Champions but they still lost out to Australia in their place in the East Asian Cup Finals as the Aussies later hammered Taiwan (called Chinese Taipei for political reasons) 8-0!

I was able to meet a few North Korea fans at the match and talked to them – interesting and hopefully a story for another time!

You might wonder where the photo of the trophy is and why there isn’t one of North Korea lifting it. It’s a virtual trophy let’s just say – remember these are the unofficial football World Championships!

I hope to attend another Unofficial Football World Championships someday – my own country is Northern Ireland and we have won it 5 times, sitting 29th in the rankings table. I hope to watch Northern Ireland play again for the title someday!

To find other articles like North Korea remain Unofficial Football World Champions head to Jonny Blair’s insightful travel and lifestyle website called Dont Stop Living for more travel, football and lifestyle tales.. This article, North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships! is released under a creative commons attribution license.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Blair, Jonny "North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships!." North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships!. 17 Dec. 2012. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Blair, J (2012, December 17). North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships!. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Blair, Jonny "North Korea Retain Unofficial Football World Championships!"

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