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.