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Added August 2nd, 2010 by Ian

Where are Sepp Blatter’s and FIFA’s guts when it comes to North Korea?

As most football fans around the world have probably heard by now, the North Korean World Cup team, minus its two Japanese members, were reportedly forced onto a stage at the People’s Palace of Culture and criticized by sports minister Pak Myong-chol as about 400 government officials, journalists, and students watched. It’s believed all team members were forced to blame their manager for the team’s results over a period of about four to six hours.

The report of the incident came from Radio Free Asia and some members of the South Korean media, so you can take it for what it’s worth. However, if the reports are true, the team’s manager Kim Jong-hun, was forced to become a construction worker (possibly unpaid) and was kicked out of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

It all came about because of the team’s poor World Cup in South Africa this summer as they lost all three games by a combined score of 12-1, including a 7-0 thumping by Portugal. To make matters worse, the loss to Portugal was aired live on TV in the nation after the team looked pretty good in its first match, a close 2-1 loss to five-time World Cup champions Brazil.

Also, as if the public humiliation wasn’t enough, it’s now believed that Kim fears for his life as he’s afraid he’ll be executed for what was seen as a betrayal of Kim Jong-un, who is the son and apparent heir to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. However, when the team made the World Cup for the first time since 1966, there were celebrations throughout the land for Kim Jong-un’s accomplishment.

While this is all sad news and shocking to most people in the democratic world, what I’d like to know is where has FIFA and its big-mouth leader Sepp Blatter been hiding through all of this? Blatter couldn’t wait to threaten France and Nigeria with bans after what was perceived as government interference after their poor World Cups as he says it’s against FIFA rules.

Well surely what has happened to the North Korean players and the team’s manager should be classified as government interference at the least. So why hasn’t Blatter and FIFA done anything about it? We’re talking about people lives here, not just a sport. FIFA needs to show some guts and kick North Korea out as a member.

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