DPRK played despite lightning strike: coach

DPRK played despite lightning strike: coach

Dresden: DPR Korea's coach Kim Kwang Min claimed several players had played in the opening 2-0 World Cup loss to two-time champions United States on Tuesday still suffering from the effects of being struck by lightning at a pre-tournament training camp.

"Frankly speaking, when we were having training and test matches before we left for this tournament, five of the players were hit by lightning and were in hospital," said Kim, through an interpreter in the post-game press conference.

"We had an accident in Pyongyang before we left for this tournament. Some of the players were left behind. Some were in hospital and came later. Until now they were not fully treated for the match."

Kim said the incident occurred on June 8.

Kim added that the players most affected were the goalkeeper, four defenders and some midfield players – without naming them.

The coach said doctors had originally decided that they were not in a fit state to play but that they played anyway.

Kim also praised his players' performance under these circumstances.

"The fact that they played in this match is abnormal. It is the result of their very powerful and strong will."