Women's Football in the Two Koreas: A Comparative Sociological Analysis

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The year 2010 is considered South Korean women's football's greatest year, with outstanding results in two International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) tournaments. North Korea has also displayed excellence in women's football during the past 20 years. This study, therefore, investigates and compares the factors involved in the success of Korean women's football. It finds that the South Korean government's interest in women's football has been erratic, but North Korea prioritized women's football and provided it full support; that members of successful South Korean teams receive small financial rewards, while North Korean players receive decorations and significant material rewards, and that although South Korea established a systematic talent identification and training system in 2002, North Korea initiated this process more than a decade earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-134
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These different settings suggest that there are various triggers that led to the development of women’s football in other nations, and these factors may include government’s support, particular strategies introduced by the football governing bodies, and the specific contributions of the media and businesses. This also implies that the gap between the confederations in women’s football is not as significant compared to those of men’s football, which European and South American teams have dominated for several decades. This explanation is supported by Luis Bueno, who states,


  • FIFA Women's World Cup
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • government
  • women's football


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