4 NKorean players reported ‘missing’ turn up for regular World Cup training session

Friday, June 18, 2010

4 ‘missing’ NKorean players are at WCup practice

TEMBISA, South Africa — The four North Korean football players reported as “missing” have turned up for World Cup practice.

The four players missed North Korea’s match Tuesday against Brazil. FIFA denied the players were ever missing and said they were left out of Tuesday’s lineup because of a technical error.

The players — Pak Sung Hyok, An Chol Hyok, Kim Kyong Il and Kim Myong Won — were on the field for training as usual Friday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Video shot by an AP Television News crew on Thursday night shows three of four North Korean players reported to have gone missing in South Africa sitting on the team bus.

The players — Pak Sung Hyok, An Chol Hyok and Kim Kyong Il — were all headed to a training session.

The fourth player in question is goalkeeper Kim Myong Won.

FIFA, football’s world governing body, reacted Friday to media reports that the four players had gone missing by saying that North Korea had taken them off the squad list because they weren’t expected to compete.

Normally, teams supply the names of a 23-man squad before a match. North Korea only handed in 19 names for the match on Tuesday against Brazil, which the South Americans won 2-1.

North Korea’s next match is against Portugal on Monday in Cape Town.

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