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North Korean football team shamed in six-hour public inquiry over World Cup

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North Korea's football team has been shamed in a six-hour public inquisition and the team's coach has been accused of "betraying" the reclusive leader's heir apparent following their failure at the World Cup, according to reports.

The entire squad was forced onto a stage at the People's Palace of Culture and subjected to criticism from Pak Myong-chol, the sports minister, as 400 government officials, students and journalists watched.

The players were subjected to a "grand debate" on July 2 because they failed in their "ideological struggle" to succeed in South Africa, Radio Free Asia and South Korean media reported.

The team's coach, Kim Jong-hun, was reportedly forced to become a builder and has been expelled from the Workers' Party of Korea.

The coach was punished for "betraying" Kim Jong-un - one of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il's sons and heir apparent.

The country, in its first World Cup since 1966, lost all three group games – including a 7-0 defeat to Portugal.

The broadcast of live games had been banned to avoid national embarrassment, but after the spirited 2-1 defeat to Brazil, state television made the Portugal game its first live sports broadcast ever.

Following ideological criticism, the players were then allegedly forced to blame the coach for their defeats.

Only two players avoided the inquisition - Japanese-born Jong Tae-se and An Yong-hak, who flew straight to Japan after the tournament.

However, media in South Korea said the players got off lightly by North Korean standards.

"In the past, North Korean athletes and coaches who performed badly were sent to prison camps," a South Korean intelligence source told the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/7918468/North-Korean-football-team-shamed-in-six-hour-public-inquiry-over-World-Cup.html

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Stupid country. It'd be funny if it wasn't for the millions underfed and starving to uphold its ideology.

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They should think they were one of the best Asian teams at the World Cup, since only they and a few more managed to qualify (even China didn't make it). But you can't expect anything good from this kind of goverments. It's a shame, and it makes me think what happened with that Olympic shooter that was caught in a dopping test after winning some medals in Beijing or with other North Korean sportspeople that don't win the tournaments they play. I think FIFA should do something, such as banning them from next championships. This way, at least, they won't end up last again and they won't "need" to be shamed in public. Pathetic! <_<

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They should think they were one of the best Asian teams at the World Cup, since only they and a few more managed to qualify (even China didn't make it). But you can't expect anything good from this kind of goverments. It's a shame, and it makes me think what happened with that Olympic shooter that was caught in a dopping test after winning some medals in Beijing or with other North Korean sportspeople that don't win the tournaments they play. I think FIFA should do something, such as banning them from next championships. This way, at least, they won't end up last again and they won't "need" to be shamed in public. Pathetic! <_<

Good idea. they deserve a ban.

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Good point. If FIFA already threatened the French government for its intervention in the national team scandal, they definitely have to react now, too.

And what do those Communist airheads actually think? Such is sport, folks! Did you really expect your team to perform better when you keep your people starving and isolated from civil rights, modern culture and the rest of the world?

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Well, they should thank god they didnt got executed by a firesquad :lol: . Anyway what did you expected of such a reclusive and stupid country like North Korea. I hope they get a ban from FIFA for this.

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I have to agree with other posters here. FIFA don't like government interference in Footbal Association matters. They've rightly suspended countries from competing in the past because of this and CAF, disgustingly and inhumanely, even banned Togo after the terrorist attack on their team bus last year because their government got involved.

North Korea seems to be a prime candidate for suspension by FIFA. They can do this within their existing rules (no government interferece), so it doesn't need to become a political or ideological matter.

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North Korea, this is a country that really needs a international intervention.

What Kim Jong Il does is a real shame for the mankind.

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Good point. If FIFA already threatened the French government for its intervention in the national team scandal, they definitely have to react now, too.

Fifa investigates North Korea World Cup abuse claims

An investigation has been launched into allegations that North Korea punished some players and the coach after its team lost all their World Cup matches.

World football's governing body, Fifa, says it is looking into claims made by Radio Free Asia last month that the squad was publicly humiliated and coach Kim Jong-hun sentenced to hard labour.

Fifa's president said a letter had been sent to North Korea's footballing body.

North Korea lost to Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast at the World Cup.

Radio Free Asia reported that North Korea's national team had been summoned to a public meeting in Pyongyang, where players were criticised by officials, including the sports minister, for six hours.

The players were then ordered to reprimand their coach, the report said, quoting anonymous sources in North Korea and a Chinese businessman said to be "knowledgeable" about North Korean affairs.

The report also spoke of "rumours" that the coach was sentenced to "forced labour at a residential building site in Pyongyang".

There were no reports of the meeting in North Korean state media, nor has neighbouring South Korea been able to confirm the claims.

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The World Cup in South Africa was North Korea's first such tournament since 1966.

After the team's impressive performance during a 2-1 defeat to Brazil, the North Korean authorities overturned a ban on showing live games.

The match against Portugal - the state's first ever live sports broadcast - could not have been worse, with the national side thrashed 7-0 in a match that stunned commentators.

Speaking at a news conference in Singapore, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said of the allegations: "The first step is the federation and we'll see what the answer will be, and then we can elaborate on that."

Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam said he had met several World Cup players in North Korea last month, but coach Kim was not present.

"There was an unconfirmed report that these players have gone through torture or something like that, but I can't confirm that," he said.

"I haven't seen anything with my eyes or heard anything with my ears. Maybe this Fifa investigation can clear the air."

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I wouldn't put much faith in Sepp Blather banning the North Koreans...after all when Uday Hussein was involved in torturing the Iraqi team members who failed to win as expected by the then head of the Iraqi football administration (as well as Iraqi NOC President) were there any consequences for that action? Of course not. However when the regime which succeeded Hussein disbanded the Iraqi FA and NOC which had existed throughout the dictatorship of Saddam and his sons, well it was Sepp's duty to suspend the Iraqis.

And this is the same august body that goes on about racism and fair play...what a joke!

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Well, the problem will be finding any evidence of this first and foremost. I shouldn't imagine anyone would want to tell FIFA what happened. I doubt they'll find anything to punish to be perfectly honest.

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North Korea, this is a country that really needs a international intervention.

What Kim Jong Il does is a real shame for the mankind.

Yeah but so does Afghanistan and the Taliban....(open can of worms).

And what about all the **** that goes down in some African countries?

At any rate, real, real pathetic country. It's sad for the people stuck there that they have to live under this psychotic "leader" and government.

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It will be difficult, and FIFA will not be quick to offend such a delusional backwards regime.

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Fifa satisfied North Korea players were not punished for World Cup failure

Fifa has ended an investigation into claims that members of North Korea's World Cup squad were punished following their failure to win a match at the World Cup, accepting the North Korean FA's insistence that the reports were "baseless".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/north-korea/7963551/Fifa-satisfied-North-Korea-players-were-not-punished-for-World-Cup-failure.html

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Problem solved -- FIFA style.

Could one expect anything else than a denial from North Korea? Nobody can prove their statement, and even the return of Kim Jong Hun to his coaching job is no proof that there never were governmental interference and punishments.

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Well, the problem will be finding any evidence of this first and foremost. I shouldn't imagine anyone would want to tell FIFA what happened. I doubt they'll find anything to punish to be perfectly honest.

And I was right. FIFA, big and powerful as it is, can't penetrate a secretive state like N Korea. And they can't punish a country based on hear-say, even if it seems likely to be true. Sad but true.

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