Jørn Andersen has been hired as the new national football coach in North Korea. The 53-year-old has signed a one year contract, reports NRK.
It is the family that confirms the surprising choice to the Norwegian broadcaster.
Andersen have already been in North Korea for two weeks.
- It seems strange, but in North Korea sport is politics. Just as it is in other countries. It means a lot to them to win and show themselves on the international arena. They actually played pretty good football before. It has been up and down, but they have shown that they can, says Geir Helgesen, head of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen.
- They now hope to improve their image in the world by asking a foreigner to do something with the football. They can not look to South Korea, Japan or China who are not very good at football, so it is quite logical that they are looking for someone in our part of the world, continues the Korea expert.
According to Anderson's family, North Korea wanted a German coach, and the choice fell on Andersen who became a German citizen in 1993. The plan is that he will build a national team for the next World Cup.
Andersen has in the past played for Fredrikstad and Vålerenga in Norway. He has also been a professional player for a number of German and other foreign clubs.
As a coach, he has been in several clubs, but had a longer break before he took over Austria Salzburg in January last year. There he was until last December. Mainz and Karlsruhe are among the other clubs who have had the 53-year-old on the payroll. In 2009 he led Mainz to the 1st Bundesliga.
Andersen has 27 caps and five goals as a national player for Norway.
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