Sep 6, 2010
Swiss Challenge League side FC Wil are still waiting on the arrival of North Korean national team squad member Cha Jong-hyok, two and a half months after a contract was agreed for the 24 year-old defender to join the club.
Wil expected the 2010 FIFA World Cup participant to join their squad for pre-season training in July, but Sports Director Alex Thoma has received no indication as to when the player is likely to arrive in Switzerland.
“I cannot just make a call. Getting information is very difficult”, Thoma was quoted as saying in the Swiss media recently regarding the difficulties in contacting the player’s representatives from his North Korean club Amrokgang.
“Maybe they don’t want to let him go now”.
The European agent who brokered the deal, Karl Messerli, told Swiss reporters “Cha is coming. If he wasn’t, the North Korean embassy would have said so” and hinted that the delay could be down to North Korean bureaucracy. “There are obviously changes in the North Korean Ministry of Sport. Because Cha is a national team player there is a whole political dimension to the move”.
One person hoping the situation is resolved soon is Wil midfielder and fellow North Korean Kim Kuk-jin, who moved to Switzerland in 2008 with Concordia Basel before joining Wil in 2009. “I hope Cha comes so I can speak in my native tongue again”, the 21 year-old said.
Will currently lie fourteenth out of the sixteen teams in the Challenge League, the second tier of Swiss football, having won just one of their six matches so far this season.