For the World Cup, Zimbabwe hoped that they could get some spillover interest. So they offered to host one of the teams for warm ups. They started with the right ambition – Brazil and / or England. Instead they have North Korea, the lowest ranked of all the teams which have qualified.

But North Korea is a bit of a ghost for most Zimbabweans.

At least 20,000 people were slaughtered by an army brigade trained by North Korean instructors in western Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland province during a five-year uprising from 1982. The operation was known as Gukurahundi, meaning “the rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.

Robert Mugabe is an ally of North Korea.

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