International sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme continue to hamper financing for the country’s footballing ambitions, such as sending stars to top European clubs.And the team will miss out on next year’s World Cup in France after being narrowly edged out in early qualifying by neighbours South Korea — a country with which the North remains technically at war.‘Nervous’ lossEven so, the North’s women continue to leave their male counterparts in their wake.North Korea’s men’s team coach Ju Soyg Il apologised Friday for his “nervous” players after a heavy defeat to Iran left his side on the brink of an early exit from the same tournament.The 3-0 loss means the men’s team need a win in their final match to have a chance of avoiding group-stage elimination — just four years after they reached the final.“We have to find the reasons why we lost the matches. One reason is that many of the players may be nervous,” an ashen-faced Ju told reporters after the match.“The players were psychologically down.”Ju also blamed referee decisions for his team’s loss Friday — North Korea had a player sent off and conceded a penalty in a fiery second half — but pledged to “learn lessons” from the setbacks.It leaves North Korea’s men needing to beat Saudi Arabia and rely on results elsewhere to progress. MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal OCA upholds China, Kazakhstan Asian Games weightlifting ban Unsurprisingly, the women’s team top their group — albeit on goal difference over China, who could only manage to overcome Hong Kong 7-0.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Peza offers relief to ecozone firms LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins View comments FILE – North Korean players celebrate their victory against Japan after their women’s football final at Munhak Stadium during the Asian Games in Incheon on October 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / BAY ISMOYOIt is a scoreline so audacious even Kim Jong Il would have blushed.North Korea’s women’s football team thrashed Tajikistan 16-0 at the Asian Games on Friday, a merciless demolition which saw three players score hat-tricks.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Current leader Kim Jong Un appears to have taken particular interest in women’s football, reportedly visiting the team in training before the last Asian Games to offer “valuable instruction on how to win the gold medal”. They went on to win the tournament.The following year he hugged returning members of the victorious East Asian Cup campaign at Pyongyang airport, praising their “guerrilla-style” tactics and “indefatigable mental prowess”, according to state news agency KCNA.But things have not always been so straightforward for the North’s female footballers.They were banned from the 2015 Women’s World Cup after five players failed drugs tests at the previous edition in 2011.The team doctor at the time blamed the test results on a “Chinese remedy” made from musk deer glands to treat players who had been struck by lightning.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Unlike their former leader’s legendary first-ever round of golf — in which he claimed to hit 11 holes-in-one — the footballers’ achievement is recorded in the official record books of Asia’s regional Olympics.North Korea’s women, whose win equalled the tournament record, have long been elite-level international performers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Pyongyang has invested in sporting success in recent times, opening an elite football academy for young boys and girls five years ago in the capital, as well as a top-class ski resort.But the women’s success has far outstripped their male counterparts, including three Asian Games gold medals, three Asian Cups and the last under-17 and under-20 World Cups.
…despite Opposition’s criticisms of Govt’s unpreparednessSince the discovery of oil and gas in Guyana, there has been much debate and discussion surrounding the slow pace at which Government is looking to implement policies to guide how revenues are spent from this new-found natural resource.But Business Minister Dominic Gaskin feels Government has been doing its best to prepare for this sector. As such, he told a recent forum that he is pleased with the progress the coalition has made but said it is now left up to Guyanese to make use of the opportunities available in the sector.“Everything may not be perfect, and I don’t think anyone is saying that it is, I am certainly not saying that everything is perfect, but what I am saying is, that I’m satisfied with the progress that has been made in the petroleum sector since the announcement of the discoveries in 2015 and to date.”The Minister said he is also satisfied that some Guyanese are already benefiting from the sector and many more Guyanese will most likely benefit once oil production begins in 2020.“I’m also satisfied that our Government is doing everything it can to ensure that Guyanese, not just now but for generations to come will benefit from Guyana’s oil,” he stated.According to Gaskin, with the circulation of oil money in Guyana through local procurement, local employment, and through local spending by expatriate employees, contractors, consultants and other professionals, Guyana’s economy will experience significant growth.“Should we try and maximise the benefits that Guyanese will enjoy from oil andBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskingas? Of course! There is more than one way to achieve this…of course, there is,” he added, noting that while some people are questioning Government’s approach, others and taking advantage of the opportunities.However, he said it is unfortunate that many are not, because they are caught up and distracted by the negative rhetoric coming from a handful of what he described as self-appointed experts, many of whom are quietly positioning themselves to benefit from the industry.“Some of them want to get there first because little competition is possible and that therefore happen to see Guyanese disenchanted with the prospect of oil, he explained adding that many Guyanese still live below the poverty line and they too must benefit from the oil resources.“…They (the poor) are looking forward to oil production. They are depending on Government to make the right decisions for their future and their children’s future. I want to assure you all that this is what our Government will do and we will ensure that every Guyanese benefit,” he stated.He added that the prospect of oil production has created quite a buzz in Guyana as well as outside of Guyana, noting that he believes “it’s generally a good thing for us, in fact, the actual news is extremely positive, the discovery so far and the outfield development, the development of the production vessel and the shore-based activity, it’s all very good news for Guyana and we need to turn it into positive outcomes.UnpreparednessWith just two years to go before first oil, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said Government has not made any substantial plans for the oil sector. Jagdeo has urged the coalition to formulate a national oil spill policy as a priority, and said the other key legislations are still not in place.“I’m saying to you, if we don’t address these critical issues, if we don’t address the rest of the economy, Guyana will be worst off in the next decade than we are now. You read the experience of many of those countries. Check the assessment of Chad and Nigeria and Venezuela and all those places. And just hear where they are today,” Jagdeo urged at one of his press conferences. Further, Jagdeo said, “They were supposed to get the Sovereign Wealth Fund to protect our interest and they failed on that. They failed on the Petroleum Commission. They failed on local content. It’s the same pattern. They’re failing to address this issue in a manner that protect Guyana.”However, Jagdeo made it clear to reporters that his position on the state of preparedness for the new industry was at variance to what is contained in the Government publication. “We still haven’t gotten the Petroleum Commission, no local content legislation, no Sovereign Wealth Fund, no decision on whether they will auction the blocks… but all the measures are in place for 2020,” he said.Some stakeholders and sections of the society in Guyana have said that preparations for first oil should have been at a more advanced stage since the country is less than two years away from production. Government has however maintained that all systems will be in place in time for 2020.