Go to contents

EAFF E-1’s first match to be held on Tuesday

Posted July. 19, 2022 07:58,   

Updated July. 19, 2022 07:58


South Korean footballers will have the last opportunity to join the national team led by manager Paulo Bento to play at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The South Korean national football team led by manager Paulo Bento left for Nagoya on Sunday to compete in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship, which will be held from Tuesday to July 27. The team will play against China on Wednesday, Hong Kong on Sunday, and Japan on July 27. The South Korean team aims to earn its sixth overall win and fourth consecutive win, followed by winning the biennial championship in 2015, 2017, and 2019.

The national team to play at the upcoming championship consists of 25 footballers playing in South Korean professional teams, except for Kwon Kyung-won of J1 League club Gamba Osaka. As it is not during the A match period according to FIFA’s rules, those playing in Europe, including Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo, Hwang Hee-chan, and Kim Min-jae, did not join the team.

The championship itself is insignificant as countries with much lower FIFA ranks than South Korea, such as China in the 78th position and Hong Kong in the 145th position, are to play, except for Japan in the 24th position. South Korea is ranked 28th. However, for participating players, it is their last chance to showcase outstanding performance to be selected in the final list to play at the World Cup. The number of team members for each country increased from 23 to 26 for the Qatar World Cup due to concerns about COVID-19.

Those playing in South Korean professional teams are likely to be picked for the added spots. "We are participating in the event as part of the preparation process for the Qatar World Cup, regardless of whom we are competing against and how good the opponent teams' players are," said Bento during the announcement of the list of players on July 11.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com