A striker for North Korea’s national soccer team will not be allowed to be used as an outfield player at the World Cup because he was listed as a goalkeeper on the official 23-man squad list, FIFA said on Thursday.
Kim Myong-won, who plays as a forward for club team Amrokgang, was listed as a goalkeeper in the final squad submitted to FIFA by North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun. The deadline for the 23-man squads was on Tuesday.
“The three players listed as goalkeepers can only play as goalkeepers during the FIFA World Cup and cannot play outfield,” FIFA said. “Kim Myong-won will not be allowed to play as an outfield player if he has been put on the list as a goalkeeper.”
All 32 teams competing at the World Cup were required to submit a 30-man squad to FIFA by May 11. From those squads, the teams then had to trim to 23 by Tuesday, with exceptions only for injuries.
North Korea, however, submitted only a 23-man squad on May 11 and sent in the same list for Tuesday’s deadline.
The North Korean team arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday and apparently canceled a training session scheduled for Thursday. No one with the team was immediately available for comment.
In North Korea, Kim is known as a powerful striker and his ability to sprint earned him the nickname “The Chariot.”
At the World Cup, North Korea will face Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast in Group G. Before that, the team has a friendly scheduled against Nigeria tomorrow.
The last time North Korea qualified for the World Cup was in 1966, when they reached the quarter-finals, losing 5-3 to Portugal despite leading 3-0.