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North Korea news

Missing quartet a 'clerical error'

June 18, 2010
By Soccernet staff

North Korea have maintained that reports that four of their players have gone AWOL are wide of the mark and put the confusion down to a ''clerical error''.

Kim Myong-Won, Ri Chol-Myong
GettyImagesKim Myong-Won: Listed as 'absent'

There had been suggestions that the players may have tried to defect after the official teamsheet for North Korea's 2-1 defeat to Brazil on Tuesday listed the players Kim Myong-Won, An Chol-Hyok, Kim Kyong-Il and Pak Sung-Hyok as absent.

But it has now been revealed that the Koreans put the wrong information on their teamsheet and the four have now resumed training with their side.

"The team sheet was filled in incorrectly,'' a source told Goal.com. ''The North Korean team marked four players absent. This is due to the fact that in their last tournament, the AFC Challenge Cup, each squad was only allowed to have 18 players so they thought it was the same at the World Cup.

"The mistake was noticed at the stadium and brought to the attention of the team but by then it was too late. It was then picked up by an Italian journalist. There is no truth to the rumours and no players have defected or gone AWOL."

Earlier FIFA said there was no information on the reports that four players had gone missing.

FIFA communications director Nicolas Maingot told a media briefing on Friday: "We have no information on this - we have only been contacted on this issue by the media. Our media officer with the Korea DPR who has spoken to their delegation completely deny these rumours."