BEIJING - NORTH KOREANS will be prevented from travelling to South Africa next month to cheer on their World Cup team because of the reclusive and paranoid ways of their country's leader Kim Jong Il.
But a growing number of international soccer fans are pledging their support to one of the competition's underdogs, who take on powerhouses Brazil and Portugal, as well as Ivory Coast. 'The North Korea national team is not known for its travelling 'Barmy Army' of soccer fans, for obvious reasons,' says Simon Cockerell, a Beijing-based Briton who is spearheading the North Korea Football Supporters Association.
'We want to get as many people as possible to cheer on the Chollimas.' So far Mr Cockerell has mustered a 300-strong eclectic band of dedicated soccer fans from across the world to back Pyongyang's finest. He has also set up a Facebook page.