North Korean referee
at the FIFA Women's
World Cup

In Canada v. Cameroon, the referee and the assistant were from the DPRK

On 10th June, Canada played against Cameroon in Montpellier, as part of the FIFA Women's World Cup. While the two nations were in competition, another two were in collaboration as referees from the two Koreas united on the pitch as referee and assistants.

North Korea's Ri Hyang-ok served as referee for Canada's 1-0 Group E victory over the African side. Her compatriot Hong Kum-nyo served as one assistant referee, while South Korea's Kim Kyoung-min worked on the other touchline at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France.

They are three of the 12 Asian referees and assistants selected to officiate at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

This is not the first time that Ri, Hong and Kim have worked together at the Women's World Cup – the trio officiated three matches at the 2015 edition in Canada, including the third-place contest between Germany and England.

Ri was a former midfielder who featured in the Women's World Cups in 1999 and 2003 as a player before turning to refereeing.

The 41-year-old began her refereeing career in 2007 and plans to retire after this World Cup.

Hong, 45, is also a former North Korean player who is in her third Women's World Cup as an assistant referee, while Kim, 39, is in her fourth consecutive Women's World Cup.

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