SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — North Korea’s state media the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) revealed on January 31 that soccer academies will be established in Pyongyang and each of the country’s provinces come April.
“The city of Pyongyang and all of the provinces will have soccer academies. Classes will be divided into elementary for two years, beginner’s middle school for three years and advanced middle school for three years. Education and training will center on the primary subjects, soccer theory and practical skill,” reported the KCNA.
The news agency added that efforts are currently being made to develop the most optimal training environment for new recruits, and that the selection process for these recruits is being made with great care.
The academies are to open on April 1.
North Korea had previously converted a 10,000㎡ plot of land within the confines of Pyongyang into an international soccer academy dedicated to the nurturing of the nation’s footballing talent. The academy produced its first graduates last year.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not been shy in expressing his affection for sports. Since his rise to power, the North Korean regime has pursued a number of initiatives to turn the reclusive nation into a sporting powerhouse.
North Korea’s men’s national team is currently ranked 119th in FIFA’s World Rankings, while the women’s team is ranked 11th.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)