Proposed Joint North-South Korea Bid for FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Unlikely to Succeed

North Korean women playing soccer on artificial turf, Pyongan Province, Pyongyang, North Korea (Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Korea Football Association of South Korea recently sent a proposal, with the blessing of the South Korean government, to the North’s DPR Korea Football Association to suggest they submit a join bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, according to the Associated Press.

During a meeting of soccer’s international rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), in Scotland earlier this month, FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed enthusiastic support for current talk of a joint North and South Korean 2023 bid. Infantino remarked, “It would be great.” Mohammed Khalfan Al Roaithi of the UAE, who is running for head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in its election this April, expressed support for the join 2023 bid; he has visited South Korea and says he plans to visit North Korea too.

Both Korean women’s teams are strong. In the FIFA world rankings for women’s soccer, the North Korean team is currently 11th and South Korea 14th. The North Korean team has done fairly well at past Women’s World Cup tournaments, even reaching the quarter finals in 2007. North Korea won the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2001, 2003, and 2008. However, FIFA banned the North Korean team from the 2015 Women’s World Cup because five of their players were caught in doping violations at the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Oddly, the North Korean team, frequently in the top ten of the women’s international rankings, failed to qualify for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France. Overall in recent years the South Korean team has not done as well, but they are getting stronger and they qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup by narrowly edging out North Korea in group play during the