ESPN: North Korea's World Cup fans are paid Chinese actors

Via Sports Grid, a communist problem once again finds a capitalist solution. I’m actually surprised that the NorKs don’t have “professional fans” at home who are designated to travel with the team and cheer them on. Yeah, granted, defection is a risk, but that’s a risk with the squad itself and they manage it somehow. “If you run away, we’ll kill your family” should work as well on a fan as on a player, no?

Judging from the anti-soccer venom flowing on yesterday’s thread, cold hard cash seems to be the only way you’d get American conservatives to turn out for a game too. Two clips here, the first of the ESPN commentary showcasing some typically exciting play from today’s Brazil-NK match — it was a barnburner — and the other of these poor bastards “training” for the contest. Exit quotation from a North Korean soccer honcho: “North Korea will win the World Cup.”