30 April 2010

North Korea trip 'not finalised'

Zimbabwe on Friday appeared to back away from an announcement that North Korea's national team would train in the country ahead of the World Cup.

This follows protests over the Asian country's role in training an army unit accused of killing thousands of people.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi last month announced the North Korean team would train in Zimbabwe.

But Sports Minister David Coltart said on Friday the visit had not been finalised.

"First of all, it has not been confirmed that they are coming at all.

"If they did come, clearly, we will handle it in a sensitive way that recognises the history and emotions around the matter," Coltart said.

The original announcement triggered protests from opposition groups in south-western Matabeleland provinces where rights groups say a North Korean-trained army unit killed an estimated 20,000 people during President Robert Mugabe's crackdown on an insurgency in the region in the 1980s.

Coltart declined to comment on reports that the government had changed initial plans to have the North Koreans set up camp in Bulawayo, the main city in Matabeleland.

"The issue is now being handled in cabinet, so it is premature for me to speculate on how their visit will be managed," Coltart said.

BBC Sport

29 April 2010

North Korea Fears Soccer Players May Seek Asylum In South Africa

Harare, April 28, 2010 - The North Korea national football team will train in Zimbabwe before heading to South Africa for this year's World Cup in June because the country fears players and officials could desert camp and seek asylum in South Africa.

Zimbabwean government sources said there were strong fears some players and officials from North Korea could take advantage of their stay in South Africa to break free and seek asylum.

North Korea is notorious for denying its citizens basic freedoms and citizens from this reclusive country have a record of defecting and seeking asylum once they step on foreign soil, especially of countries that enjoy democracy and freedom.

Sources this week said Pyongyang was comfortable with security arrangements in Zimbabwe which they felt could make it impossible for players or officials to escape.

“Look, it is very easy for the North Korean players to break away from camp and seek asylum is South Africa than it is here in Zimbabwe,” said an official from the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art and Culture.

The North Korean team will camp in Bulawayo and use Babourfields Stadium as their training venue.

Their visit to Bulawayo has attracted serious opposition from human rights groups who say it evokes memories of the Gukurahundi massacres of the early 1980s.

The Fifth Brigade, which perpetrated the massacres, were trained and armed by the North Korean government.

Radio Vop Zimbabwe

North Korea venue change ‘purely a sporting issue’

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)—Zimbabwe’s tourism minister said on Wednesday North Korea’s World Cup squad has changed its training venue for its upcoming visit but denied the move was politically motivated.

Walter Mzembi told The Associated Press the North Koreans would now be based in the capital Harare and not the southern city of Bulawayo, but added the change was “purely a sporting issue” and had no link to political killings in Bulawayo’s Matabeleland province in the early 1980’s.

Mzembi said North Korea had switched to Harare’s Rufaro Stadium because artificial training surfaces there were similar to that of the training pitch which he said the North Koreans will use at their World Cup base in South Africa.

“This has nothing to with politics,” Mzembi told The AP, “but is purely a sporting issue, for the North Korean team to have the adequate preparation for the tournament.”

North Korea’s visit has caused opposition in Matabeleland after it revived memories of the massacre of up to 40,000 civilians by an army brigade trained by North Korean instructors.

Mzembi said there was no connection to the killings more than 20 years ago, which some human rights activists liken to genocide.

“They (the North Korean team) have learnt that in Bulawayo there is no stadium with rubber turf, which is similar to the one being constructed for them in South Africa for the World Cup soccer tournament,” Mzembi said.

“They (the rubber pitches) can only be found in Harare at Rufaro stadium which was under renovation last year and so they (North Korea) have provisionally set to switch camp to Harare,” he said.

North Korea, which has qualified for its first World Cup since 1966, is due to stop over in the troubled southern African country on its way to neighboring South Africa.

Mzembi said the provisional dates for the visit were May 23-31, but Zimbabwe would be given confirmation of the exact schedule by May 18.

28 April 2010

Nigeria matches for North Korea Women`s NT

North Korea Women`s NT will play two friendly matches against nigeria in Pyongyang.

First match will be played on Sunday and second match on Tuesday.

Next News

New FIFA World Ranking

FIFA World Ranking released today . North Korea down 1 to number 106 .

FIFA World Ranking

27 April 2010

Nigeria friendly in South Africa ?

THE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday revealed that the Super Eagles would play a friendly against the North Korea national side when the team arrives in Durban, South Africa, for its final camping for the 2010 World Cup.

Confirming the friendly to The Guardian in Abuja yesterday, NFF Assistant General Secretary (Technical), James Peters, disclosed that the federation has drawn a programme for the team's World Cup preparations.

According to the programme, the Super Eagles is billed to depart from Abuja for London on May 21, a day after the team's parley with the technical crew and send forth party by the federation. It would train in London for one week before finally departing for Durban on the May 31.

Guardian News

23 April 2010

AFC Asian Cup 2011 draw

North Korea in group D with Iran , Iraq and UAE in Asian Cup 2011 finals !

22 April 2010

North Korea drew South Africa

North Korea drew South Africa 0-0 in a friendly in Germany tonight.

FIFA U-20 Women`s Championship - Draw

North Korea were drawn into Group B with Brazil, Sweden and New Zealand

Women`s U20 Championship take place in Germany from 13. July to 1. August.

North Korea won last Women`s U20 Championship in 2006.


21 April 2010

Paraguay match for North Korea

North Korea will play a friendly against Paraguay in Geneva, Switzerland on 15. May reported Paraguyan media today.

Prensa Latina

20 April 2010

Bafana face North Korea on Thursday

Bafana Bafana have managed to secure another friendly international during their training camp in Germany. South Africa will take on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Thursday, 22 April. The match will be played at the SV Wehen Wiesbaden Stadium in Frankfurt. Kick off is at 18H00.


19 April 2010

Muzembi asks activists to drop plans to protest against the North Korean football team’s visit

Zimbabwe’s tourism minister has appealed to activists in the
western provinces of Bulawayo to drop plans to protest against the North
Korean football team’s scheduled camp in the country during the World Cup.

The presence of the team from the dictatorship of President Kim Jong Il has
stirred up strong emotions over the massacre in the early 80s of an
estimated 20 000 civilians of the Ndebele speaking people of western
Zimbabwe, carried out by soldiers of the Zimbabwe army’s notorious Fifth
Brigade who were trained by North Korean instructors.

More : Zimbabwe Metro

17 April 2010

North Korea drop Bafana

Bafana Bafana have dropped North Korea from the teams they will play during their training camp in Germany this week after many demands were made by the side circled in Group G for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Bafana were due to play North Korea on Tuesday but had to cancel the date late today after the Asians, who are on a training camp in Spain, allegedly demanded a lot of money from Safa and ordered that the South Africans should come to them in Spain.

An official, who refused to named, revealed that Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was not happy about the cancellation as he was looking forward to engaging them because they were the only side to have qualified for the World Cup in the teams they’ve lined up during this camp in Germany.

The Safa official said: “Travelling to Spain would disrupt the coach’s plan for his camp in Germany. It would better to have a local side as a replacement.”

However, Bafana manager Sipho Nkumane is believed to be running around making calls to first division sides in Germany hoping to land a replacement for Tuesday.

But Parreira said he still hopes that North Korea will change their minds and maybe opt to travel to Germany to play them.

Parreira said: “Such friendlies will help us but we can’t travel to them. I would have been happy to see them play Bafana as I could judge my players based on that game. (To my knowledge), our officials are still engaged with them.”

City Press

09 April 2010

North Korea team not welcome: activists

NORTH Korea’s football team is unwelcome in Bulawayo, activists in that region said on Thursday as they prepared protests against a country which they say helped President Robert Mugabe crush the local population between 1982 and 1987.

Government officials revealed on Thursday that North Korea had agreed to set up camp in Zimbabwe in late May ahead of the June 11-July 11 FIFA World Cup in neighbouring South Africa.

The Koreans are scheduled to play a series of friendly matches against Zimbabwe teams in both Harare and Bulawayo.

But the Koreans have been warned Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium will be a “centre of resistance” should they venture into the region where rights groups say 20,000 civilians were killed by the 5 Brigade, a special-task army unit trained by instructors from the North Korean government.

The army unit, made almost exclusively of Shona-speaking troops loyal to Mugabe, was deployed in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions after Mugabe accused former liberation war comrades from the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) of planning an insurgency against his administration.

Activists from the Matabeleland region are sharpening their knives for the visit of the Koreans.

Nkululeko Sibanda, a prominent former student leader said while the Koreans’ planned visit to Bulawayo “may bring a few economic benefits”, their trip was a “symbolic insult”.

“The relationship between Zimbabwe and North Korean was cemented by the blood of our kin. Symbolically, this is the best chance in more than 20 years we have had to defend our dead and our blood,” Sibanda said in an e-mail circulated to journalists, political parties and NGOs in the region.

Sibanda urged activists to “mobilise in any way possible against their arrival or for their removal from BF (Barbourfields)”.

“Barbourfields is the centre of our resistance – it is symbolic and cannot be tainted.”

Sibanda said while targeting the Koreans, campaigners should “not be seen to be targeting any Shona people ... it was not a tribal war but one mad man’s war against the Ndebele people. We should always make that distinction.”

The opposition ZAPU, whose supporters from the Ndebele minority in the region were the main victims of the Fifth Brigade, said it was “anxious to know the real motive behind the invitation of the North Korean national soccer team ... given the background where military instructors from that country were instrumental in training the murderous 5 Brigade that killed, raped, maimed, tortured and humiliated thousands of our supporters in Matabeleland and the Midlands.”

New Zimbabwe

07 April 2010

Zimbabwe: North Korea squad will visit before WCup

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)—The Zimbabwean government has confirmed that North Korea’s squad will train in the troubled country before heading to South Africa for this year’s World Cup.

Zimbabwe’s tourism minister Walter Mzembi said Tuesday that five teams who have qualified for the World Cup, including England and the United States, were asked to visit in the build-up to the tournament but only North Korea has accepted the request.

Mzembi said Australia and five-time World Cup winner Brazil were also approached in a bid to boost Zimbabwe’s failing tourism industry.

“Of the five countries that we are aiming to come to Zimbabwe, only North Korea have confirmed they will stay in Zimbabwe at the end of May before proceeding to South Africa for the World Cup tournament,” Mzembi said.

Mzembi did not give exact dates for the visit, but the North Korean embassy and Zimbabwe’s tourism ministry said Wednesday that the team would be in the country from May 25. No other teams have responded to Zimbabwe’s approaches.

Mzembi also said Zimbabwe, which has been plagued by political violence and severe economic problems, is hoping to attract 100,000 tourists before and after the World Cup. He called this an “achievable target” and hoped that football teams training in the country would help this objective.


01 April 2010

Friendly cancelled

North Korea friendly against Nigeria in London on 29. May is cancelled , same with a planned friendly in Pyongyang in April.

A friendly against Greece is confirmed for 25. May in Piraeus, Greece.

Expect at least one more friendly in Europe in late May/early June ?

New FIFA World Ranking

New FIFA World Ranking for men was released today.

North Korea down 3 to number 105