12 Aug 2010

Blatter seeks answers from North Korea

6:11 am on 12 August 2010

FIFA's president Sepp Blatter wants answers from North Korea about reports that the country's World Cup squad was publicly humiliated and coach Kim Jong-Hun sentenced to hard labour when they returned home from South Africa last month.

FIFA has sent a letter to the North Korean football authorities following new, unspecified, evidence brought to its attention by Chung Mong-Joon, the powerful South Korean former chairman of Hyundai, who is also the president of the South Korean Football Association.

North Korea bowed out of its first World Cup since 1966 after losing only 2-1 to Brazil before before being routed 7-0 by Portugal and 3-0 by Ivory Coast.

According to Radio Free Asia, on their return team members were made to stand on a stage at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, and were subjected to "ideological criticism" for six hours, and coach Kim was sentenced to hard labour on a building site.