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North Korean World Cup Fans Are “Handpicked Chinese Actors”

17 Jun 2010

According to ESPN announcer Martin Tyler, the raucous section of North Korean fans which made an unexpected showing Tuesday at the 2010 World Cup game between Brazil and North Korea was in fact a group of paid actors! After all, it’s unlikely that your average North Korean managed to assemble the funds to fly to South Africa.

The PRC’s government news agency Xinhua had previously said that about 1,000 Chinese fans, which include a group of actors and musicians, were paid for by the Beijing office of the North Korean Sports Committee to attend the game. It’s likely these are one and the same.

Filmmaker Nick Bonner told the British newspaper Telegraph, “It is very possible that China will support North Korea in the World Cup.” Bonner’s company Konyo produced a documentary about the previous North Korean team to play in the World Cup as well as a feature film about North Korean football called Centre Forward.

It is the second time that North Korea has qualified for the World Cup, the last time being the 1966 tournament in England in which the team defeated Italy 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals, ultimately losing to Portugal.

A symbolic show of alliance? Perhaps, but then again, if North Korea paid me to skip town, fly to South Africa, get drunk, and cheer on an underdog team, I’d probably do it, too. Sports ought to be set aside from politics. Still, the expression on North Korean football coach Kim Jong-Hun‘s face suggested otherwise: The entire match it seemed like his life was on the frigid’ line.

Apparently, though, ESPN reports that Jong-Hun wasn’t doing much coaching at all. According to the coach, he received “regular tactical advice” from Kim Jong-il “using mobile phones that are not visible to the naked eye,” reportedly developed by the North Korean chief himself. That’s right, rest of the world, read it and weep: North Koreans have reached unknowable heights in communication technology, and use it only for football matches!

Predictably, North Korea lost to Brazil, the final score being 1-2. Dear Leader had no one to blame but himself.

(via Sportsgrid)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 17 Jun 2010 10:17 PM

    I’m not surprised to tell you the truth!
    North Korea would not let any fans travel to South Africa because they might see what the outside world is like. They will see how they have been fed nothing but lies over the decades. It would also problematic for the North Korean government to ensure that everyone who went to the World Cup actually returns home after seeing the outside world!

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