As announced by the Vietnam Football Federation yesterday, and confirmed by FIFA today, current Unofficial Football World Champions North Korea will not participate in the VFF Cup. North Korea had been fixtured to play Turkmenistan on 26 October and hosts Vietnam on 28 October (plus a non-FIFA accredited match against Iran under-23s). None of these matches will now take place.

The VFF announcement read: “This afternoon (10/10), the organisers officially received written confirmation for the VFF Cup 2012 that the three guest teams will be: Turkmenistan, Laos and South Korea under-23s.” No reason was given for the non-participation of North Korea.

Where does that leave the UFWC? At the moment, we don’t quite know. North Korea are scheduled to participate in the semi-final qualifying stage for the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup. The semi-final stage will be contested as group tournament held in Hong Kong between 1 December and 9 December 2012. Five teams will participate, namely Australia, Chinese Taipei, Guam, hosts Hong Kong, and UFWC champs North Korea. The winner of the group will advance to the final tournament in South Korea in July 2013. China are the current holders of the EAFF East Asian Cup.

The fixtures for the semi-final stage have not yet been announced, so we don’t yet know who North Korea will play first, and therefore who the next UFWC challengers will be. Australia would look to be favourites to win the semi-final stage, although switched-on readers might have spotted that Australia is not in East Asia. Indeed, Australia aren’t members of the EAFF, but were invited to participate as guests.

There is, of course, the possibility that North Korea will arrange another match ahead of the EAFF qualifying stage. We will let you know the identity of the next UFWC challengers as soon as the fixtures are announced. In the meantime, North Korea retain the UFWC title. Assuming there are no new matches arranged before December, they will by then have been Unofficial Football World Champions for more than a full calendar year. Few would have expected that 12 months ago.

Watch this space and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

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About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

11 thoughts on “Another cancellation: North Korea vs Turkmenistan off

  1. Luke

    A cynic might say they’re just trying to delay having to defend the Championship as long as they can…. 😛

  2. tps

    Obviously, the commies love the UWFC too much to risk giving it up until they have to!

  3. JLR

    Not to bothered by the canceled games,as a UFWC containing Guam would be fantastic. Also, am I correct in saying Australia haven’t won a UFWC match? Oh wait, the All-Time Ranking says differently. ONE win. Would be nice to see them rise higher tough.

  4. Rune

    Anyone else checking the EAFF East Asian Cup Wikipedia site, and every day? I almost can’t wait for news on the next challenger. Can’t they just book a friendly?

  5. Alex

    I think it is a disgrace. You should be forced to defend the title at least once every 3 months.

  6. druryfire

    Rune – Very interested in the EAFF championship. Been waiting for info on it from for a while now. But the official website is somewhat lacking in recent years for updates.

    I can only assume EAFF will schedule North Korea – Australia match last and hope for a winner takes all kind of match. The competition isn’t that far away (6 weeks??) but needs some info coming out soon!!

  7. Rune

    The EAFF website has got more recent news in other languages, but I don’t understand them. Still it seems the schedule hasn’t been set yet. I guess both Hong Kong’s and Australia’s football sites would write about it in an understandable language, when it’s ready.

    As for the results, I would hold North Korea favorites in all matches except against Australia, which is about 50/50.

  8. druryfire

    Rumours are that the draw has been done and we will have North Korea – Chinese Taipei as the next UWFC matchup on 1st December.

    Look out for official announcments any time now.

  9. Rune

    I’m excited! Chinese Taipei and Guam in the first two matches should be easy for North Korea, but then they’ll meet Australia in match three. There is only two probable outcomes of this tournament. The first is North Korea goes through it without losing. The second is Australia winning against North Korea, which will give Chinese Taipei and Guam two title matches each, and none to poor Hong Kong. Which ones seems most likely?

  10. jablu

    1/12/2012 North Korea-Chinese Taipei
    3/12/2012 North Korea-Guam
    5/12/2012 North Korea-Australia
    9/12/2012 Hong Kong-North Korea

  11. Paul Brown Post author

    Thanks guys, the draw has indeed been completed, as ever we await confirmation from FIFA, and I hope to post a full update on the website by tomorrow.

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