(WFI) FIFA chief Gianni Infantino says football could be a tool to bring North and South Korea together.
“The message that football carries, which is beyond borders, beyond frontiers, which is inclusive, which can help and can bring people together as well,” Infantino said during a stop in South Korea on Wednesday.
“And with this in mind… why not think also about a football match between North Korea and South Korea?” he asks. “Men and women, we should think about that and organize that. We should bring everyone together around the football pitch.”
The last friendly matches between the two countries occurred over 10 years ago in Goyang, South Korea to commemorate Korea’s 60th anniversary of independence from Japan. The men’s teams played on Aug. 14, 2005 with the South winning 3-0, while the North won the women’s match 2-0.
The men’s and women’s teams have faced off against one another a total of 28 times dating back to 1978. On the men’s side South Korea has the edge with seven victories, seven draws and only one loss. North Korea has dominated on the women’s side winning 11 contests, drawing once and losing once.
The last matches between the two countries occurred in August 2015 at the EAFF East Asian Cup with the men’s match ending in a scoreless draw while the North Korean women won 2-0.
Infantino’s primary purpose in Seoul was to meet with top FIFA sponsor Hyundai Motor Company to assure the company he is actively working towards rooting out corruption in FIFA. Despite the scandal and the ousting of former president Sepp Blatter, Hyundai and Kia Motors have both stayed on as sponsors of world football’s governing body and extended the partnerships to 2022.
Infantino is in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday to participate in the Thai Football Association’s 100th anniversary.
By INSIDER Kevin Nutley
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER