North Korea Are The World Champions!

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. [I:]

As a mad football fan, I had heard about this competition before and thought it was a quirky alternative to the popular FIFA World Cup. But until recently I had never been to a match then the option of North Korea v Hong Kong came up – Australia drawing with North Korea meant that the North Koreans were still unofficial World Champions going into the match with Hong Kong recently.

So finally one could go to an Unofficial World Cup Final – amazing as I’m temporarily living out in Hong Kong

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:]

It was taking place at the Hong Kong Stadium near Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. I made my way there with three others for a fantastic day out. Entrance was 80 Hong Kong Dollars (6.40 UK, $10.30 USD) and well worth it. Hong Kong Stadium is magnificent. Nestled nicely in between two other sports stadiums, steep hills and gaping skyscrapers, this is certainly a venue with cracking views!

[I:] 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 all about the football and although Hong Kong kept the North Koreans at bay early on, they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat. Half time score was 3-0. Hong Kong lacked the skill and strength but they had ideas and pace – and a few chances of their own. But clinical finishing and composure saw the North Koreans maintain their title of Unofficial World Champions.

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:] 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 ask – where is the photo of North Korea lifting the trophy – but there isn’t an actual presentation – it’s just the honour! Well done to North Korea for remaining unofficial world champions and roll on the next UFWC / Unofficial Football World Championships title match.

My own country has won it 5 times before and are currently 29th – Northern Ireland. We are still the smallest nation to ever qualify for a World Cup Quarter Finals.

For more fascinating stories by the Football Elevens network head to their marvellous website and get educated about Premier League facts.