Eastern Azaleas are chasing qualification for Olympic Games with team a representation of isolationist state’s might

The fact that North Korea are ranked in the top 10 of the world’s best women’s football sides – higher than Brazil and Australia among others – may come as a surprise to some, but in the next week the team known as the Eastern Azaleas are attempting to cement their position as one of the best sides in the world by beating Japan in a two-legged Olympic qualification playoff to reach the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Since returning from a four-year period of inactivity brought on by the pandemic, North Korea, or the DPRK as they are also known, have had their respectable Fifa ranking of ninth restored and are showing signs that they can become a regional powerhouse once again.

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