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Thread: N. Korean Coach Forced Into Construction work

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    Default N. Korean Coach Forced Into Construction work

    The North Korean national football team that dropped ignominiously out of the World Cup without a point after conceding 12 goals in three games have been publicly shamed since returning home, with their coach being forced to become a construction worker.

    The North Koreans failed to get any point from their World Cup group that had Brazil, Portugal and Cote d’Ivoire.

    According to reports from Radio Free Asia and the South Korean media, earlier this month the team and its coach were forced onto a stage at the People's Palace of Culture in front of 400 government officials, students, and journalists. According to the Guardian, the athletes were subjected to a "six-hour barrage of criticism" for their poor performances that was led by a TV commentator and sports minister Pak Myong-chol.

    Only Jung Tae-se and An Yong-hak were spared a dressing down as they flew directly to Japan, their country of birth and where they play club football.

    The players were then asked to step up in turn and publicly criticise coach Kim Jong-hun, who had apparently been singled out for punishment.

    Radio Free Asia quoted the source as saying the coach had also been forced into a construction job because, he was reportedly accused of betraying the leader's son, Kim Jong-un, who is expected to take over from his ailing father as leader of the world's only communist dynasty.

    The Guardian reports that plans were in place, in the case of a good performance at the tournament, to credit the team's success to the heir apparent to help ease the transition of power. Instead, there are reportedly fears for the manager's safety.

    Still, a South Korean intelligence source told the newspaper Chosun Ilbo that the team had probably escaped with a light punishment. In the past, he said, athletes and coaches who displeased the regime 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."

    After the Red Mosquitoes, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals in England in 1966, narrowly lost their opening match to Brazil, the regime decided to televise the second group game against Portugal in what is believed to be the country's first live sports broadcast.

    A South Korean intelligence source told the Chosun Ilbo that in the past, North Korean athletes and coaches who let the nation down were sent to prison camps.

    — newsweek/the guardian

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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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