North Korea plans hit as striker is told he can only play in goal
North Korea’s preparations have been thrown into disarray after their striker Kim Myong Won was told by FIFA that he will not be allowed to appear as an outfield player, because he was named in the squad as a third-choice goalkeeper.
Coach Kim Jong Hun was hoping to boost his attacking options by naming the forward Kim Myong Won in the cunning disguise of a goalkeeper, but the move backfired spectacularly.
FIFA rejected North Korea’s pleas, by stating: “The three players listed as goalkeepers can only play as goalkeepers during the World Cup and cannot play outfield.”
As a result, Kim Myong Won will not be allowed to play as an outfield player, and North Korea will have to try forgetting about this cock-up as they prepare for their first World Cup since 1966.
Kim Jong Hun’s side already face an uphill task in Group G, and with Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast for company, they are priced at 1/50 to be knocked out at the group stage.
As well as being a farcical distraction, this “administrative error” will have practical ramifications, as without Kim Myong Won, North Korea will be one striker short.
And having fired two blanks in their last three matches, North Korea will struggle to trouble the defences of their illustrious Group G opponents. They are a convincing 15/8 not to score during the tournament.
The ruling would also appear to deny Fabio Capello the chance to repeat a trick his assistant Stuart Pearce used when Manchester City manager, by sending England’s number one David James up front against Middlesbrough in 2005.