North Korean striker can only play in goal

North Korea’s hopes of taking just two goalkeepers to the World Cup have been dashed by FIFA, with the striker selected instead of a third shot-stopper told he can only play in goal during the tournament.

FIFA rules stipulate that teams must take three goalkeepers to this summer's global showpiece in South Africa.

However, Amrokgang forward Kim Myong-won was entered on the North Korean's squad list as a custodian in a cheeky attempt to beat the system and allow them an extra attacking option as they prepare to face Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal in Group G.

But their cunning plan was foiled by FIFA on Thursday, after they reiterated their rules regarding World Cup squads and rejected the North Korean’s plan.

In a statement, world football’s governing body said: “The squad lists that the teams had provided to FIFA by June 1 2010 are final and can no longer be changed. On the final lists must be no more than 23 players, three of whom shall be goalkeepers.

"The only exception is in the case of a serious injury of a player in the list of 23, who could be replaced up until 24 hours before the first match of the team in the competition.

"The three players listed as goalkeepers can only play as goalkeepers during the World Cup and cannot play outfield. This will be communicated to the teams in the team arrival meetings and will be enforced on match days."

The statement added: "Kim Myong-won will not be allowed to play as an outfield player if he has been put on the list as a goalkeeper."

The decision effectively means that the North Koreans now have a squad of just 22, with Kim Myong-won not renowned for his goalkeeping skills.

By Guy Ferneyhough

Follow on Twitter
Join on Facebook