Further Misadventures in North Korean Soccer
Attentive readers know that I have a warm spot in my heart for the pugnacious, East German-coached,musk deer gland extract swilling North Korean women’s soccer team. Now the men are giving them a run for the money.
Yonhap reports that a North Korean player and head coach Yun Jong-su “have been suspended from six to 12 months for their misconduct during an Asian Games match.” The coach went ballistic on a the referee claiming a hand ball on a South Korean goal, while the player, Kim Yong-il, chucked a water bottle at the group of referees.
I am not entirely unsympathetic to the North Koreans: soon-to-be published research that Kevin Stahler and I are doing on Olympic medaling demonstrates that there is a statistically detectable home field advantage, particularly in judged events. And the ire of losing to your brethren on a disputed call must be excruciating. But water bottle throwing? At least the goal keeper from the women’s team actually punched the ref at the 2007 Asian games, so the men still have some work to do to do to catch up with the, ahem, ladies.
But no worries, the fun should just keep coming: Yun is the current head coach for North Korea's under-23 team for the 2016 Winter Olympics qualifiers and is not subject to the ban in this capacity.
(Savvy readers may note that the photo above is not actually Yun Yong-su, but I think that most of you will agree, it’s pretty close.)
And for the final word on soccer referees, Belle and Sebastian: