At the age of 16 years and 26 days, US-born South Korean striker Casey Phair created history by becoming the youngest player in the FIFA Women’s World Cup history.
It was the tournament opener for South Korea Women in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, where the AFC side faced Colombia Women in Group H last Tuesday (25 July). Colombia Women won that game by 2-0 (Catalina Usme 30’ pen.; Linda Caicedo 39’).
Casey Phair: The youngest to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup
In that same game, the 16-year-old Casey Phair created FIFA Women’s World Cup history as the youngest ever player after she replaced the South Korean forward Choe Yuri in the 78th minute of the game. It was also her international debut for the senior team.
Phair was born on 29 June 2007. She celebrated her 16th birthday last month.
According to AP, Phair commented after the game, “Going on, I was really, really nervous. It was a scary moment, but then going on and running around, I think it just settled in.” The American-born footballer’s father is an American, and the mother is a South Korean.
Previous record holder
Previously, the youngest player in the FIFA Women’s World Cup record was held by Nigerian Ifeanyi Chiejine. At the age of 16 years and 34 days, Chiejine made her FIFA Women’s World Cup debut during the 1999 edition.
Youngest to play in the senior FIFA World Cup tournament (both male and female)
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland footballer Norman Whiteside holds the record for the youngest male to play the FIFA World Cup, which he recorded in the 1982 edition at the age of 17 years and 41 days. So, both Phair and the previous youngest WWC record holder Chiejine have better records than Whiteside in terms of the youngest to play the senior FIFA World Cup tournament (both male and female editions).
Phair is also the first multiracial footballer to serve for the senior South Korean national football team (both male and female). She proudly said, “I’m really proud and really honoured to be the first mixed player for the Korean Federation. I really appreciate the opportunity I was given today.”