A red card for women: Female officials ostracized in South Korean football

Min Chul Kim, Eunah Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Referees play an essential role in most sports, but only a few studies have investigated the experiences of female sports officials. This study aims to identify the reasons why women tend to give up the work of refereeing. Six former female referees were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. The findings show that female officials tend to give up their jobs in Korean football due to the negative attitudes held about them, as reflected in remarks and other behavior; the absence of a peer group or a mentoring system for female referees; work–family conflict, in particular following pregnancy and childcare; and a lack of administrative support. Since both the equality and gynocentric feminist theories are applicable in the context of Korean football, effective management strategies are required in order to empower female referees and enhance their capacities to tackle traditional gender inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-130
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Asian Center for Women's Studies, Ewha Womans University.


  • female referees
  • feminism
  • football
  • management
  • retention
  • sexism


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