July 25, (THEWILL) – Casey Phair, aged 16 years and 26 days, became the youngest player to feature at a Women’s World Cup after coming on as a substitute for South Korea against Colombia.
The striker was born in the United States and was called up by the country at youth level, but has now made her debut for South Korea. She came on in the 78th minute in Sydney and so trumped Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Chiejine, who was 16 years and 34 days when she played at the 1999 World Cup and who passed away in August 2019.
Phair, born to an American father and a Korean mother, is the first player of mixed descent to make the senior South Korean women’s football squad. Speaking on the eve of the Colombia game, South Korea’s English coach, Colin Bell, said he was eager to protect the teenager. “So now she’s in the squad, then we just take it day by day, so I don’t really want to hype up a young player too much before she’s even played,” he said.
“That’s why I’ve been safeguarding her from the media,” Bell added. Phair has made history by becoming the youngest player to feature at a Women’s World Cup but could not help her team earn a point as South Korea lost their opener 2-nil against Colombia. Yet, she is sure to be one to watch in the future.
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