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FIFA denies rumours of North Korean defections

June 18, 2010

FIFA, the governing body of international football, has denied rumours that four members of North Korea’s national football team have left their quarters in South Africa and defected.

FIFA spokesman Nicholas Maingot said Friday that all 23 North Korean players were in the team’s hotel.

Maingot said the FIFA team liaison officer for North Korea had checked out the rumour.

“We called him (the liaison officer) yesterday and he checked with the delegation of Korea DPR and they denied completely these rumours. Same thing this morning.”

After North Korea’s Group G opener on Tuesday, a 2-1 loss to Brazil, several international media outlets speculated that four North Korean players had absconded to apply for political asylum.

Just 19 players from the totalitarian state had been listed on the teamsheet.

The North Korean national football team is participating this year in only its second World Cup ever. The first was in 1966. North Korea

plays Portugal Monday.

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Categories: Sports
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