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N. Korea plans to open football schools across nation

All News 11:44 January 18, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea plans to open football schools across the nation this year to boost the sport's popularity and development, Pyongyang's main newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Rodong Sinmun said North Korean sports authorities are pushing their plans to open football schools in all nine provinces this year, and they are set to support programs for finding nation's top football prodigies.

Citing an official from the North's football governing body, the newspaper reported that the country is impressed by recent results from the Pyongyang International Football School (PIFS), which was established in 2013 for kids aged nine to 15.

North Korea last year won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-14 Girls' Regional Championship for the East for its third straight title, and the players were students at the PIFS, the newspaper said.

It wrote that North Koreans are happiest when they hear the national football team winning matches, and football should further help the nation become a sports powerhouse.

The state-run media outlet said North Korea's future in women's football is bright. North Korea last year were champions in both the U-20 and U-17 women's World Cups.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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