North Korean team humiliated

North Korea team

The North Korea team made history when it entered into the 2010 FIFA World Cup after a gap of around 66 years. At the time, the government felicitated the coach, saying he was a miracle worker.

North Korea couldn’t make it past the group stage, but the fact that they were competing was commendable.

Now that the team is back home, they have been subject to public humiliation. The team was lectured in public on their failure and “betrayal” of Kim Kong- un, son and heir of the great leader Kim Jong-il.

Coach Kim Jong-hun

The coach, Kim Jong-hun has been sacked as team coach and forced to work as a construction worker without pay. Now, he fears for his life – he believes that he might be executed.

The team fought hard against Brazil. Though the score line was 2-1 for Brazil, North Korea struck the first goal. They went on to lose 3-0 to Ivory Coast and 7-0 to Portugal. Remember, this young, untested team, was placed in the dreaded Group of Death.

The problem was that football hasn’t ever been broadcast live in North Korea, as the broadcast of live games had been banned to avoid national embarrassment. When the team played Brazil they were not under too much pressure, as they knew the game would not be telecast live and were able to play freely. After the spirited 2-1 defeat to Brazil, however, state television made the Portugal game its first live sports broadcast ever.

Dejected team members walk off the field

This historical match put the team under pressure, as they faced a formidable team in Portugal, they knew their every move would be watched back home, they felt pressured and their game disintegrated. They had no answers for the Portugese defense. They were young and inexperienced. And for this, they are being crucified.

According to media in South Korea, though, players got off lightly by North Korean standards. Historically, it was straight to the prison camps for athletes and coaches who performed badly.


FIFA should ban the country from participating in football matches if defeat means that the coach could be executed and the team subject to public humiliation.

Posted in Scrambled Thoughts and tagged , , , .


  1. Hey! Landed on your blog from IndiBlogger… Nice article there! 🙂

    Anyways, North Korea has been my country of interest from the past 2 years (Not because I like it or something, but because of its weird rules and regulations). If you were a North Korean citizen, then you would have never know what a blog is. It’s that bad their.

    A person may be executed if he/she makes an international phone call. No newspapers, no internet. Bad, very bad.

    Anyways, I should stop my geography class now… 😛

    Nice article, once again! Keep blogging! 🙂

    • Hey Manav! Thanks for the encouragement!

      Yes, things are bad in North Korea, and only slightly better in China…makes one appreciate the freedom we have!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! 🙂

  2. Hi,
    Very nicely written, I agree with your thought –
    “FIFA should ban the country from participating in football matches if defeat means that the coach could be executed and the team subject to public humiliation.”

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