Jeffrey LewisNorth Korea-Venezuela Friendly

Footballer Grenddy Perozo (L), of the Venezuelan national squad, marks An Chol Myok of North Korea during a friendly match held in San Felipe-Yaracuy, some 300 km from Caracas, on March 4, 2010. The Match ended 1-1. AFP PHOTO/Juan Barreto

Because nothing involving North Korea is ever easy.

North Korea, which qualified for the World Cup in South Africa, met Venezuela in a friendly, but didn’t manage to bring along uniforms and just generally acted like North Koreans:

As part of preparations for its first World Cup appearance in 44 years, North Korea was in Venezuela on Thursday for a friendly. The match ended in a 1-1 tie. But with the North Koreans, it’s never that cut and dried. According to reports in Venezuela, the Koreans lost their uniforms at some point and had to borrow replacement kits from the Venezuelans. Because of the intense heat, the Koreans refused to start on time, a delay that resulted in the match being stopped 10 minutes early because the field in San Felipe didn’t have lights. The teams will play again Saturday in Puerto la Cruz. (A game against Chile was canceled because of the earthquake.) Why do I have a feeling we’re going to hear many more wacky tales from North Korean camp over the next few months?

As you can see from the image, the DPRK team had to play with tape over the Venezuelan crest on the borrowed kit.

Apparently the jerseys arrived for the second game, which Venezuela won 2-1.


  1. Jun Okumura (History)

    Why do I think that Chavez is bankrolling the trip?

  2. Bart

    For those of us who are completely ignorant of soccer, could you please explain the use of “friendly” as a noun?

  3. Chad (History)

    ‘Friendly’ is a match thats not part of a tournament or league.. i.e a practice game in effect.
    DPRK are practising for the forthcoming World Cup – they have a very hard group!

  4. anon

    “Friendly” is short for a “friendly match.” It’s not specific to soccer, but can be used for any sports when two teams engage in a match just for the fun(/training value/charity/publicity), no prizes involved.