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How Atletico Sorocaba Tricked An Entire Nation

Posted by John Hickey on


In the mid 2000s in the small Brazilian city of Sorocaba something odd was happening. A mysterious North Korean figure appeared, known as Reverend Moon, to spread the word of his church, the Unification Church. In order to get more visibility he decided to back one of the local teams in the city, Atletico Sorocaba, who with his investments gained some national recognition.

Simultaneously, the North Korean National Team had qualified for the 2010 World Cup and was struggling to find strong opponents to play friendly matches in preparation for the tournament. Turns out that Reverend Moon had close ties to the dictatorial family and agreed to take his team to North Korea to play against their National Team.

The Brazilian players say the landed in North Korea on a plane that was "being held by duct tape", and were forced into two days of government lead tours and homages to the dictator Kim Jong-il. The third day was matchday and the crowds were tremendous, the players were told there 80 thousand people in the stands plus 30 thousand outside watching on big screens.

The Atletico Sorocaba players were confused, why would there be such commotion to watch them, a lower division club from Brazil, play a friendly? As they entered the field the dots started to connect, they looked down at their jersey and saw yellow, they looked at the scoreboard and saw the letters "B-R-A". The North Koreans were told they were playing against the Brazilian National Team.

Because the country is so closed and information is so scarce that the population believed it, they had no way of recognizing if those were the Brazilian superstars or not.

This was the last of a series of many oddities the Brazilians had witnessed, so they made a conscious decision to not to score in fear of what might happen if they won. The final score was 0-0, Atletico Sorocaba was able to return home without any worries, and it is believed that the North Koreans to this day don't know what truly happened. 


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