FIFA funds improvements for N. Korean soccer academy

October 31, 2013
North Korean soccer is getting a lot of attention. (Yonhap)

North Korean soccer is getting a lot of attention. (Yonhap)

(Yonhap) International soccer’s governing body FIFA has provided funds worth $500,000 to build infrastructure to update a soccer academy in Pyongyang, a media outlet reported Thursday.

The International School of Football opened earlier this year and has been training North Korean youths between the ages of 6 and 13, according to a report by Radio Free Asia.

The Washington-based broadcaster said support was given as part of its “goal project” to help build football-related infrastructure in less affluent countries. FIFA started providing support to the North from 2001 onward, with around $2 million having been spent so far on six development projects. North Korean media said its leader Kim Jong-un personally designated a name for the new facility that opened on May 31 in June

There was an earlier report out of Europe that the North was sending some 30 teenage boys to Italy and Spain to boost their position in global soccer.