• Germany's news in English

North Korean players struck by lightning, coach claims

The Local · 29 Jun 2011, 08:24

Published: 29 Jun 2011 08:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Frankly speaking, when we were having training and test matches before we left for this tournament, five of the players were hit by lightning and were in hospital," said coach Kim Kwang Min, through an interpreter in the post-game press conference.

"We had an accident in Pyongyang before we left for this tournament. Some of the players were left behind. Some were in hospital and came later. Until now they were not fully treated for the match."

In the most unusual day so far of the tournament, officials also announced Colombia goalkeeper Yineth Varon was kicked out of the competition after being suspended by FIFA's disciplinary committee for failing a doping test.

The 29-year-old missed Colombia's opening Group C game, which they lost 1-0 to Sweden in Leverkusen on Tuesday, after failing an out-of-competition test here last Saturday.

Germany will play its second match on Thursday against Nigeria, having beaten Canada on Sunday night to take the lead in Group A.

North Korea’s Kim said the lightning incident occurred on June 8. Kim added that the players most affected were the goalkeeper, four defenders and some midfield players - without naming them.

The coach said doctors had originally decided that they were not in a fit state to play but that they played anyway.

Kim also praised his players' performance under these circumstances.

"The fact that they played in this match is abnormal. It is the result of their very powerful and strong will."

Story continues below…

The news hit FIFA media officials like a lightning bolt as well.

"It was news to us all," said FIFA media officer Julie Brown at the U.S. press conference when journalists asked for the Americans' opinions of the North Korean revelation.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:53 June 29, 2011 by Jerr-Berlin
...evidently lightning also struck them in the second half eh...
10:01 June 29, 2011 by wood artist
At first I thought this was somehow being blamed on Germany. Fortunately my assumption was incorrect. I gather they were at practice somewhere in NK and didn't have the sense to leave the pitch when the weather went bad. Sounds fishy to me, but maybe it's just an explanation when Kim asks when they return home without winning, especially against the evil Americans.

10:17 June 29, 2011 by freechoice
Doesn't matter!! They could always fake their wins!!

Search for North Korea won the world cup 2010 ! on YouTube!!!
21:03 June 29, 2011 by FIUMAN
I think the anti-American boos and hisses of the very European crowd at this game speaks VERY poorly of Germany.
21:44 June 29, 2011 by wxman
I was stationed in Korea several years ago and am more than familiar with the Korean female form, up close and personal. I can assure you that this team has a lot more in common with teams from the former GDR, if you know what I mean.
08:22 June 30, 2011 by MaKo
As excuses go, that's a pretty good one. Poor girls.
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps 'Armenia genocide' concert in Turkey
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd