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Come to the Ground! See the Difference!

Posted July. 17, 2002 22:28,   


The manager of the Chonbuk Hyundai Motors Cho Yun-hwan shocked the football society by sending the team’s featuring star Kim, Do-Hun to the second team recently. The manager punished his idea of ‘it’s impossible with out me’ although he had some minor injuries.

The manager Cho explained about Kim Do-hoon’s going to the second team, “It is profaning our fans, who are rushing to the grounds to see the games, for the pro players to play insincere games. From now on, anyone who shows insincerity to the fans can be the second or third Kim Do-hoon case, said the manager.

The Korean pro football (K League) is changing. It makes the fans, who fill stands every game, pleased with strong pressure and exiting plays. The pro football of old days, which the former manager of the Korean national team Guus Hidink bitterly criticized as ‘Walking Game,’ is gone. The reason why the K League is changed drastically is the heat of more than 100,000 fans every game day after the 2002 World Cup.

The manager of the Busan Icons Kim Ho-gon explained this, “the coaches and the players are highly motivated with thundering cheers of the crowd,” and “the players are absorbing the atmosphere, so they show more than they have, and more aggressive and exciting games are played.” He also explained that there is a consensus between the players and coaches saying, “Let’s revive the Korean football using this opportunity.”

The heat of the crowd elevates the winning rate of the K League home games. Although each teams played only two or three games, as many as 8 teams tasted sweet victories at home. It is a big change compare to the 50% home winning rate of the last season.

Manager Cho Yun-hwan, who has 1 win and 1 draw at home, admitted, “Frankly speaking, I did not feel the home advantages before the World Cup and had no pressure on the road. But we almost are not able to play our games on the road because of the exclusive cheers of 30,000 some home fans.” The football experts analyze this that the K League is finally changing to the European style pro league.

The stronger pressure football also is one of the World Cup effects. The Korean football society, which witnessed the world’s best football festival at home, is keeping up with the trend of the world football. There were no tactical differences between teams in the old days; however, it adds more pleasure to watch the games in this season since each team has unique tactics.

The Korean pro football had a renaissance after the World Cup in 1998; however, it can be explained that it was a bubble of ‘the Brother Brigade’ with some new age stars.

“This seems different” is the consensus of the coaches. They explained that, with sympathy with the fans, the World Cup stars, old stars, new age stars, and imported players are competing sparkly and raising the quality of football itself. The pro ground is predicted to be hot more than any other season regardless of what.

Keuk-In Bae bae2150@donga.com