Totalitarian state North Korea (DPRK) are the surprising new favourites to host FIFA's 2026 World Cup, after the country submitted a late proposal to stage the tournament in eight years' time.
Morocco and a joint bid from the USA and Canada were initially the only two submissions, but both have now pulled out, leaving the notoriously secretive North Korea the only candidate, according to reports.
The DPRK's infamous head of state Kim Jong-un is said to have been instrumental in putting forward the proposal and has been encouraged by the success of other controversial regimes in winning the right to host the games, despite human rights concerns.
A regime insider said: "The Dear Leader is very passionate about football - even more so than about nuclear weapons. He is an avid player of Football Manager while touring the country and pointing at things for photo ops. He is currently way out in front of his fantasy football league - and not just because every is too afraid to beat him. He has also toyed with the idea of getting a Bobby Firmino haircut.
"He wants to stage the World Cup to show the world that the DPRK can easily do anything the decadent west can do.
"He is also looking forward to answering the eternal question of whether Messi (or whoever is around by 2026) can do it on a cold, wet night in Pyongyang."
When contacted for comment, a desperate FIFA official sighed: "Let's be honest, it can't be much worse than Qatar, can it?"
The next deadline for other bidders is April 1.