North Korea lost at Women’s World Cup because players were ‘struck by lightning’
Bolt from the blue
The coach of North Korea’s women’s football team says the team lost their opening World Cup match against the USA because their players were struck by lightning during training.
The Koreans slipped to a 2-0 defeat, but coach Kim Kwang-min came armed with a fantastic excuse for the loss.
Kim said: “In the first half our team was strong. But in the second half the strength of our players was not sufficient so our strategic measures could not be implemented. The players gave their best.
“There were changes in the physical condition before the match. There were unexpected changes. Our players didn’t feel well. During training before we left Pyongyang some of our players suffered a minor accident. Some stayed in hospital and then came to Germany shortly before the competition. So they didn’t feel quite well.
“When we stayed in Pyongyang during training there was an unexpected accident so our team was not capable of playing. Our players were hit by lightning during a training match. More than five were hospitalised. The match was on 8 June.”
Pressed further on who had been affected by the mysterious pre-tournament lightning strike
He said: “The goalkeeper and the four strikers were most affected and some midfielders as well. The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament. But until the very last minute they gave their best.”
The team’s press officer later amended the random distribution of the victims and said that it was actually four defenders rather than forwards who were affected.
Kim will have to hope lightning doesn’t strike twice with defeat in North Korea’s next group game against Sweden.