Soccer doesn’t say anything when it loses ground

South Korean soccer mobilized to stop the Jamboree disaster. The entire country, public and private, has been mobilized to prevent the Jamboree from becoming a national embarrassment, but soccer is no exception.

As the 2023 World Scout Jamboree faced the prospect of failure due to a heat wave and poor management, a concert featuring popular K-pop singers was presented as the only solution to quell the discontent of the participants.

During the search for a venue for the closing ceremony and K-pop super live concert, Jeonju World Cup Stadium, home of professional soccer team Jeonbuk Hyundai, was considered, and the FA Cup semifinal match between Jeonbuk and Incheon was postponed. After a series of twists and turns, the event was moved to Seoul World Cup Stadium, home of FC Seoul, but the FA Cup semifinal had already been postponed.

The FA Cup, a prestigious competition to determine the best in Korean soccer, both professional and amateur, has been curtailed. Jeonbuk, Incheon, Jeju, and Pohang were scheduled to play the FA Cup semifinals on August 9 and the final on November 1 and 4 in a home-and-home format, but due to the jamboree, the semifinals will be played on November 1 and the final will be a single-legged affair on November 4. For soccer fans, this means one less game to enjoy, and the four finalists will have to play a single-legged match to determine the winner.

The fundamental reason is that the stadiums are owned by local governments. Jeonju World Cup Stadium is owned by the city of Jeonju and operated by the Jeonju Facilities Corporation. Seoul World Cup Stadium is owned by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and operated by the Seoul Facilities Corporation. A professional soccer team can only use a stadium as a home, but cannot operate or manage it. If the government or local government notifies the team that the stadium will be used for something other than soccer games, the team has no choice but to accept.

In this way, the government and local governments are on the top and the clubs are on the bottom. If the government and local governments treat professional soccer teams badly, there is no way to respond. This attitude is reflected in the press release issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism when the Seoul World Cup Stadium was canceled as a venue for the jamboree. The ministry touted that it had secured a budget to restore the turf, and said it would “cooperate with Seoul FC, which uses the stadium as its home.” The official government document misspelled FC Seoul as Seoul FC. In European soccer, this is the equivalent of writing Real Madrid as Madrid Real, Hertha Berlin as Hertha Berlin, Paris Saint-Germain as Saint-Germain Paris, and AS Roma as AS Roma. This shows the lack of understanding, consideration, and interest of the central government in Korean soccer. 바카라

It’s hard to imagine what the Korean Football Association, the country’s governing body, could have done when professional soccer clubs are at such a disadvantage. The KFA, which came under fire in March for trying to pardon those involved in sports gambling, groveled before the government and local governments during the scandal. It didn’t even issue a brief statement expressing regret or asking for help in preventing a recurrence. The KFA has remained tight-lipped throughout the entire scandal, and soccer fans have been vocal about it.

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