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North Korean World Cup Team Reprimanded for Losses




The North Korea team after defeat and elimination from the tournament during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between North Korea and Ivory Coast on June 25, 2010. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The North Korea team after defeat and elimination from the tournament during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between North Korea and Ivory Coast on June 25, 2010. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

For the North Korean team, losing all three games in South Africa resulted in a formal reprimand from the government.

Only one team can win the World Cup. For the many teams that lost in the tournament, returning home meant facing their disappointed fans. For the North Korean team, losing all three games in South Africa resulted in a formal reprimand from the government.

According to Radio Free Asia's report, the North Korea's team and their coach, Kim Jong Hun, attended a meeting at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang earlier this month. The purpose of the meeting was to determine who should claim responsibility for the embarrassing losses. After six hours of discussion in the closed-door meeting, officials decided to pin it on the coach. According to the report, team members were forced to reprimand their coach in front of roughly 400 government officials. The two Japan-based players on the team were exempt from the meeting.

The report cited two unidentified sources in North Korea. South Korea's National Intelligence Service has yet to confirm the story.

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