Photo: US Air Force
After a respectable (but overmatched) defeat to the dastardly Americans, North Korea’s women’s soccer coach offered a perfectly valid excuse of this team’s lackluster performance — half his team had been struck by lighting.Not during today’s game, of course. But at the team’s post-game press conference, coach Kim Kwang Min said that four players and a goalkeeper were hit by lightning on June 8th.
As a result, those players weren’t at full strength today and the team’s strategy had to be altered.
(The Guardian’s John Ashdown has the full recap on his Twitter feed.)
It wouldn’t be the first time that this had happened to a soccer team and it would explain a great many things. However, no one else appears to have heard this story before today and the North Korean athletic department is not exactly known for its honesty and transparency.
You may recall that the men’s team put on quite a show at the 2010 World Cup, with several players disappearing briefly, phantom fans showing up to support them, and mysterious claims that Kim Jong-Il was calling in plays to the head coach’s cell phone during games. (He didn’t have a cell phone on the sidelines.)
When you work for a madman who expects nothing less than best, you need to have a good alibi.
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