FIFA investigates Radio Free Asia report about mistreatment of North Korean World Cup team.

Posted: 12 Aug 2010

Radio Australia News, 12 August 2010: "Football's governing body, FIFA, is opening an inquiry into reports that North Korea mistreated its team after its poor showing at the World Cup. The North Koreans initially put up a good fight against Brazil, which prompted national television to screen their next match live, something previously unheard of. But Radio Free Asia alleges after they lost seven-nil to Portugal the returning players were humiliated and their coach sentenced to hard labour. FIFA has warned the claims will be hard to investigate."

The Telegraph, 11 August 2010, Peter Foster: "Last month, Radio Free Asia said that all members of the North Korea squad, apart from two foreign-based players, were subjected to 'harsh ideological criticism' after they lost all three matches and conceded the highest number of goals by a team at the competition. 'We sent a letter to the football federation to tell us about their election of a new president and to find out if the allegations made by the media that the coach and some players were condemned and punished are true,' said Sepp Blatter, the Fifa President. 'We are doing this as a first step and we will see how they answer.'"

AP, 11 August 2010: "The head of the Asian Football Confederation, Mohammad bin Hammam, said Wednesday that he had spoken with four players last month, but that they had not reported mistreatment."

CNN, 12 August 2010: "Blatter said FIFA, which has strict rules about no government interference in member associations' affairs, was wary of making an official statement about the reports. 'We once had a case in another country where it was said players were also condemned and under physical pressure, and we sent someone and it turned out not to be true,' he said in quotes carried by the AFP agency."

BBC News, 11 August 2010: "The report also spoke of 'rumours' that the coach was sentenced to 'forced labour at a residential building site in Pyongyang'. There were no reports of the meeting in North Korean state media, nor has neighbouring South Korea been able to confirm the claims."

FIFA press release, 12 August 2010: "FIFA has confirmed that, on 11 August 2010, it sent a letter to the DPR Korea Football Association to ask for information on recent media reports related to the association and on the extraordinary Congress of the association held on 19 June 2010. Until FIFA has received a reply from the DPR Korea Football Association, FIFA will not be in a position to comment any further."

See previous post. It hinges on the "knowledgable sources," and specifically a "Chinese businessman," cited in the RFA report.

Copyright 2006–2018 Kim Andrew Elliott.