Guus Hiddink returns from Pyongyang after agreeing to build futsal stadium

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) — Former South Korea football coach Guus Hiddink returned from North Korea on Saturday after reaching an agreement to open a futsal stadium in Pyongyang.

Hiddink arrived in Seoul via Beijing after having what he called “fruitful” meetings with football officials in the North. He had left on Thursday to work on a deal to open his “Dream Field,” a futsal stadium for visually impaired players.

Futsal is a type of football played with five players a side and a smaller ball.

“It was a short but a good visit,” he told reporters at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul. “We talked about installing a Dream Field. I was eager to do one or more even in the North. We signed an agreement that as soon as possible — hopefully before the summer — we’ll have the first Dream Field in Pyongyang.”

   The Dutchman said he was already looking forward to his next visit to North Korea, possibly next summer.

“I challenged them to start building what we agreed,” he added. “We will supply, as soon as possible, the necessary equipment and then they can start. If you want something, you can do it very fast.”

Hiddink, who guided South Korea to the semifinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, said he also discussed opening a second field in northeast North Korea, or “maybe another one in Kaesong,” referring to a North Korean town close to the tense inter-Korean border.

“We talked about youth education, what I can do to get coaches for youth development,” he added. “Furthermore, we talked about establishing a six-nation tournament for the women in the near future.”

   Hiddink said he was pleasantly surprised by how open North Korean football officials were, and said, “They’re eager to get information from abroad, and I think this is a good sign.”

   Hiddink has opened 13 Dream Fields in South Korea since 2007.