Non-league: South Korean officials take charge of Manchester League game

Old Alts v Stockport Georgians
The South Korean officials line up with Old Alts and Stockport Georgians before kick-off

It may be the 11th tier of English football but the Manchester League went international on Saturday.

Three South Korean match officials visiting the UK for training asked if they could take charge of a game while they were here.

They were given permission by the league to officiate Old Alts' Premier Division game against Stockport Georgians.

"It's something that's a first for the Manchester League. It's come about thanks to their relationship with the FA," the league's press and media officer Simon Harrison told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It's on a two-year cycle and we invite them over here and they do lots of training and practice games. They sent a request in to us to allow them to officiate one of our games, so we said 'yeah, go for it'."

The game was moved from Old Alts' home to a pitch at their hotel at Mottram Hall Park just outside Manchester, where the Germany team stayed and trained during the European Championships in 1996.

"They're level three referees so they are a higher standard of referees than those which would usually officiate in the Manchester League," added Harrison.

The game, which was almost postponed because of bad weather, ended 3-3.

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