The Roles of their Lives: Chinese Actors Play North Korean Football Fans
The spectacle — all those proud, happy faces waving DPRK flags, dressed in red and white — even brought North Korean star striker Jong Tae Se to tears during the national anthem. The fans were confident that North Korea would score on Brazil at least twice before halftime (it ended 2-1 for Brazil), and expressed support for South Korea.
It’s a shame that those fans weren’t actually North Korean. The almost touching displays of North Korean patriotism were in fact put on by Chinese actors, ahem, “volunteers.” Hired by the China Sports Events Management Group and the North Korean Sports Committee, the actors were brought in because few people in North Korea could afford both the airfare and the game ticket, much less obtain a visa to leave the country, and the Chinese team didn’t make it to the tournament. And because in world competitions, “Chinese fans will stand for Asia teams,” China promised North Korea the fans to boost morale.