For the second time in two months, my heart is with the North Korean football (soccer) team.
News reports say the team – which turned in a gutsy and sportsmanlike performance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – and its coach have been publicly shamed in a 6-hour harangue by party officials and ministers. As the Telegraph wrote:
The players were subjected to a “grand debate” on July 2 because they failed in their “ideological struggle” to succeed in South Africa, Radio Free Asia and South Korean media reported.
The team’s coach, Kim Jong-hun, was reportedly forced to become a builder and has been expelled from the Workers’ Party of Korea.
The coach was punished for “betraying” Kim Jong-un – one of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il’s sons and heir apparent.
Following ideological criticism, the players were then allegedly forced to blame the coach for their defeats.
Sure North Korea went out in the first round.
Yes, they lost miserably to Portugal 7- 0.
And, yes, *sigh* it is hardly surprising
to hear the North Korean regime express displeasure.
But the truth is that the ruling cadres are just missing the point.
Continue reading North Korea LoveFest
So here we are … the morn of the 2010 World Cup semifinals.
For football fans, this is the week we relish when it comes along every four years. For World Cup haters, it means the torture is almost over (and I’ve got a special treat for you, just to get you through.)
The Netherlands – my pre-tournie pick to win – is going to square off on the pitch against spunky Uruguay and my new football fave Diego Forlan. Tomorrow Germany will face off against Spain.
The first match will hurt no matter what, because I want both teams to win. The second is clear cut – Spain all the way. (Though to be honest, the Germans are looking mighty tough so far.)
There have been some seriously amazing – and some not so amazing – moments during this tournament that will keep football fans talking until the next World Cup. I’m thinking:
Continue reading Vuvuzela Dogpound?!?!
The battle lines are drawn. Tension is running high. Passion is only slightly behind. The world is abuzz with the vuvuzela. We are on the verge of the first knock-outs of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
As football (soccer) fans around the world gear up to roar their chosen sides onto victory, there is one team people around the world should all be rooting for:
This side, put together by the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization Amnesty International, features a roster of true heroes – individuals who see wrong in the world around them and choose to stand up and act.
Continue reading The Real World Champions