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FIFA VP Chung Instrumental in Boosting Women`s Soccer

Posted September. 29, 2010 16:13,   


“I`ll have to establish a women`s soccer team anew.”

Former Korea Football Federation President Chung Mong-joon had plenty to say about his country`s under-17 women`s team Tuesday at a news briefing on Korea’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul.

The current FIFA vice chairman said, “I formed a girls` soccer team at Seoul Hyundai High School at the risk of strong opposition. But I heard that the team was dismantled recently. I will form a team again without fail.”

Chung`s affection for women`s soccer is well known. He has invested heavily to back the development of women`s soccer since 1993, the year he took over his country`s football association. He also spearheaded efforts to establish women`s soccer teams at high schools run by Hyundai Group affiliates and executives.

While serving as chairman of the board of the Hyundai Educational Foundation, Chung ordered an executive staff member to set up girls` soccer teams at middle and high schools, saying, “In Korean soccer, the women will dominate the world before the men.”

Kwon Oh-kap, president of Hyundai Oilbank and the foundation`s chief secretary at the time, said Chung judged that Korea needed to nurture women`s soccer after watching Korean women archers win Olympic gold medals while serving as chairman of the Korea Archery Association.

To help women players continue their education and find jobs, Chung has founded a string of teams in succession since 1993, including for Ulsan Hyundai Chungun Middle School, Hyundai Info-Tech High School, Ulsan College and Incheon Hyundai Steel.

To reach the minimum number (nine) of schools to make women`s soccer an official event at the National Athletics Meet, he also founded a women`s team at Seoul Hyundai High School. He paid for the annual operating costs and setup fees.

Of the 21 players on the U-17 women’s World Cup championship team, the most (six) came from Hyundai Info-Tech High School: Lee So-dam, Kim Na-ri, Kim Soo-bin, Joo Soo-jin, Lee Geum-min and Kim Da-hye.

On the third-place U-20 women`s World Cup team, three went to Ulsan College: Moon So-ri, Jeong Yeong-ah and Kwon Eun-som. Jung Hye-in plays for Hyundai Steel.

The U-20 team’s third-place finish last month and the U-17 squad`s World Cup title were thus largely the results of Chung’s constant interest and investment. “For Korean women`s soccer to develop further, Ewha Womans University and Sookmyung Women’s University must establish teams,” he said.

"For Korea to land the 2022 World Cup, the domestic mood is very important. I hope that soccer fans express their strong wish to host the World Cup over the remaining two months.”