North Korean Team Will Be Sent To Coal Mines As Punishment, Reports Say

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Apr 4, 2005
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North Korean team will be sent to coal mines as punishment, reports say | Herald Sun
MORE than one disgraced national team has been heckled by angry fans on returning home - but North Korea's misfiring stars reportedly face a much harsher punishment.

Unfortunately, crazed dictator Kim Jong-il chose the 7-0 mauling at the hands of Portugal to be the first football game ever broadcast in the impoverished communist nation.

"The Portuguese won the game and now have four points," the Korean Central Broadcasting commentator said at the conclusion of the match. "We are ending our live broadcast now." It then cut to factory workers and engineers praising the Dear Leader.

Seems the result may not have tallied too well with Kim Jong-il's narrative that North Korea is a socialist paradise populated by athletic supermen.

Moon Ki-Nam, a former North Korean coach who fled the country in 2004, told reporters: “The players and coach are rewarded with huge houses when they win. But they have to atone for losing by being sent to work in the coal mines.”

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The players kept a low profile after the game. Coach Kim-Jong Hun somewhat optimistically told the media: “We failed to reach our goal. I want to apologise for this to our people. I do not think that we will be punished.”

Some members of the 1966 North Korean World Cup squad were reputedly sent to labour camps after throwing away a 3-0 lead against Portugal in the quarter-finals.
 
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