Eurosport - Thu, 29 Jul 13:41:00 2010
North Korea's football squad have been subjected to a public humiliation in the wake of their World Cup failure.
The team lost all three games in South Africa, where they were making their first World Cup finals appearance since 1966. They took the stage at the People's Palace of Culture in the capital Pyongyang while 400 students subjected them to a six-hour reprimand. Reports claim coach Kim Jong-Hun was made to work on a building site and expelled from the Workers' Party of Korea. He was blamed for "betraying the trust of Kim Jong-Un", one of dictator Kim Jong-Il's sons, after the country went into the tournament with high hopes of qualifying from the so-called 'Group of Death'. The criticism was led by Ri Dong-Kyu, a commentator for state TV, which made the 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Portugal its first ever live sports broadcast. The decision to show the game live came in the wake of an encouraging 2-1 defeat to Brazil. North Korea lost their final game 3-0 to Ivory Coast.
Radio Free Asia claimed the dressing-down took place on July 2, but news only leaked out of the famously secretive country this week.
Japanese-born pair Jong Tae-Se and An Yong-Hak escaped censure, flying straight to Japan from South Korea.
A source from South Korea’s intelligence community told the Chosun Ilbo newspaper: "In the past, North Korean athletes and coaches who performed badly were sent to prison camps. Considering the high hopes North Koreans had for the World Cup, the regime could have done worse things to the team than just reprimand them for their ideological shortcomings."
-- It`s a pity they did not play England. They would have won 3-0 and went home as heroes.
-- I watched the Brazil match and thought they played well. Perhaps our team could do with a few weeks in a camp too. (England)
-- A dubious source, South Korean Intelligence. Its like Pakistan giving us intelligence on India.
-- Would such a public humiliation be more appropriate for the England team? They lost/drew their 3 out of 4 matches and were worse than the Korean players, especially when one considers the resources they (England team) have had and given compared to their Korean counterparts. Plus the fact that they are all millionaires. Any one who is a millionaire ought to have a better performance - we can see from the many successful ones. BUT then of course the England team would want to be on the side of the failing millionaires, judging by their performances even in the league matches.