And to think people wonder why I blog about North Korea.
North Korea’s coach blamed his side’s 2-0 loss to the United States on his players getting struck by lightning in the build up to the Women’s World Cup. Kwang Min Kim claimed that some of them were hospitalised with electrocution after a training match on 8 June.
Maybe their treating physician had one of those special transmitters, too. This probably calls for some kind of criticism session, though if Lloyd’s were still issuing insurance policies in North Korea, I’m sure they’d charge a higher premium against criticism sessions than lightning strikes.
By the way, wasn’t their 2008 World Cup coach named Kim Jong Hun, or has he been airbrushed out of the team yearbooks?
“When we stayed in Pyongyang during training our players were hit by lightning, and more than five of them were hospitalised,” said coach Kim, without naming the affected players specifically.
“Some stayed in hospital and then came to Germany later than the rest of us. The goalkeeper and the four defenders were most affected, and some midfielders as well. The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament.
“But World Cup football is the most important and significant event for a footballer, so they don’t want to think about anything but football.
“The fact that they played could be called abnormal, the result of very strong will.”
Yes, something certainly is abnormal here — starting with the patent hypocrisy of welcoming North Korean teams to international sporting events, yet ostracizing South African teams from them for the expressly political purpose of pressuring the South African government to change its repellent and racist political system. Excluding racism from polite society is perfectly fine with me, but let’s be morally consistent about it. As offensive and oppressive as apartheid was, was it really more oppressive, offensive, and racist than this?
Update: The discrepancy in the coaches’ names might be explained by the fact that this is the women’s team we’re talking about today.