Pride Draws, Hanging Protests Clash… Still Clueless Korean Football


There was no reversal of mood in the match against Thailand. There was only a draw that left a dent in the pride. The unpleasant incident that happened in the stands only increased the distrust toward Chairman Chung Mong-gyu and the Korea Football Association (KFA). The Korean soccer is still in disarray.

The second Asian qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA North-Central America World Cup against Thailand held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 21st was important for Korean soccer. This is because it was the first stage to announce a new start after shaking off the sluggishness and various controversies at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

In FIFA rankings, South Korea ranked 22nd and Thailand 101st. Amid the controversy over boycott, nearly 65,000 spectators entered the stadium. Many also predicted a cool victory. It was an opportunity to clean up the disappointment and change the atmosphere, including the elimination of the semifinals at the Asian Cup.

However, the result was a 1-1 draw. Failing to take advantage of all indicators including power gap and home advantage, the team failed to raise its head in front of packed audiences. Captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) had the upper hand in the 42nd minute of the first half, but lost the equalizer in the 16th minute of the second half due to an instantaneous collapse of concentration of defense, and failed to regain balance. The overwhelming advantage of ball occupancy rate of 78.5 percent, and the number of shootings of 25-6, was meaningless just one point away.

Rather than ending the slump at the last Asian Cup, it became an extension of the trend. Korea ended up with a humiliating result, with only one draw and one loss against Jordan, ranked 87th in the FIFA rankings, and a 3-3 draw with Malaysia, ranked 130th. Eventually, they were held back by Thailand even at their home turf. One more match was continued, with the evaluation that they were the best players ever.

The chaotic atmosphere did not occur only inside the ground. On the day, the Red Devils shouted “Jung Mong-gyu, go out” throughout the game, and voiced criticism by directly hitting Chairman Chung Mong-gyu, Vice Chairman Lee Seok-jae, and Head of the Technology Headquarters Hwang Jung-boo. Criticism was meant to imply that KFA and Chairman Chung are ultimately responsible for a series of unstable situations in Korean soccer, including controversy over amnesty last year, the process of appointing coach Jurgen Klinsmann of Germany, and the clash between Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in of Paris Saint-Germain.

There was even a collision while removing the hanger calling for the resignation of Chairman Chung Mong-gyu. While the security guard was taking away the flag with the spectators in it, the spectators had injuries to their hands, and the security guard also had injuries to his head. The video footage of the security guard snatching the spectators’ flag quickly spread through the community, raising voices of criticism. The KFA explained that it was a sudden act of a security guard who did not know the situation well, only asking for restraint for safety, but there are strong criticisms that the KFA is blaming the safety guard this time following the player’s fault. 핑크알바

In a frustrating atmosphere, Hwang Sun-hong will play the fourth preliminary match against Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Korea time). The priority is to break the disappointing trend across the Korean soccer community by winning the match. However, given the recent performance of the national team, there are concerns that the team’s away match in Thailand will not be easy. “We will prepare to overcome disappointing results and finish the away match well,” Hwang said.

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