[IS Eye] Domestic trials against Southeast Asian teams after 32 years…KFA administration ‘on the chopping block’ again

The second opponent for Klinsmann’s October domestic trials has been confirmed as Vietnam. There has been no official announcement from the Korean Football Association (KFA), but head coach Jürgen Klinsmann (GER) has virtually confirmed it in an interview. It has been 32 years since Korea has played an A-match trial against a Southeast Asian team since 1991 against Indonesia.

Earlier, Klinsmann said in a video interview with domestic media on the 17th and 18th, “Nowadays, it’s not easy to arrange match-ups because there are so many games on every continent. We had an internal meeting and discussed ‘what can we get the most out of it’ and decided to look for similar teams that we can meet in the AFC Asian Cup next January.” This came while answering a question on why they are pushing for an A match against Vietnam, which is considered an underdog. It’s a de facto admission of a test match against Vietnam.

In fact, when the news first broke about the trial, the KFA’s explanation was that Klinsmann wanted to play a trial against a team that plays a tight defence. 온라인카지노“I didn’t want an exhibition game against a weak team,” Klinsmann said. The KFA and Klinsmann are at odds over the circumstances surrounding the selection of Vietnam for the friendly.

Of course, it is difficult to find a suitable opponent as the European Football Championship (Euro) qualifiers and the South American qualifiers for the North and Central American World Cup are taking place at the same time. However, this is not a problem unique to South Korea, nor is it the result of the sudden addition of Euro and World Cup qualifiers. It is up to the administrations of the national football associations to find the best possible trial opponents under difficult conditions. For the first time in 32 years, the KFA has organised a test match at home against a Southeast Asian team, which is a testament to the current state of the organisation.

The South Korean national football team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, took on Uruguay in an exhibition match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 28th. The players sing the national anthem before the match. By Sang-am Kim and Min-gyu Lee [email protected]

The South Korean national football team played an exhibition match against El Salvador at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, on Tuesday afternoon. Son Heung-min talks to Seol Young-woo during a stoppage in the first half. By Kim Min-gyu [email protected] /2023.06.20/

There is only one reason why South Korea hasn’t welcomed a Southeast Asian team home in more than 30 years. It’s not profitable for the national football team. Vietnam’s FIFA ranking is only 95th, despite being the highest among Southeast Asian teams. The gap with South Korea (27th) is also huge. With such a stark power differential, home advantage, and a full European squad, it’s hard to see how playing a Southeast Asian team in an exhibition match can yield much other than an A-match win.

The last time we played a Southeast Asian opponent during an A-Match was in Thailand in 2016. That was due to special circumstances, including the cancellation of the World Cup qualifier against Kuwait, and FIFA’s ban on travelling to other continents during A-Match, which forced us to look for an Asian opponent. The last time they travelled to Thailand was in 1998 (King’s Cup – Friendly). It’s been a long time since a Southeast Asian team has been used as a test for Korean football’s quest to reach the top of Asia and the round of 16 at the World Cup.

Even if they are preparing for the Asian Cup in January next year, it’s hard to understand why they have so many matches against Asian teams in the future. Right now, after the September and October A-Match trials, the World Cup qualifiers begin in earnest. In November, there will be two Asian qualifiers, one in Singapore or Guam and the other in China and North and Central America. After that, we’ll continue to face Asian teams, many of whom will play tight defence, even if we don’t want to, in the Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers. The long-term goal is to eventually make it to the World Cup in North and Central America, so the opportunity to play A-match trials without having to face Asian teams is even more important.

The KFA’s administration of A-match trials is bound to be compared to its immediate neighbour, the Japan Football Association (JFA). South Korea and Japan will play Tunisia side-by-side in October in an evaluation match. However, the remaining opponents are different. While South Korea is preparing to play Vietnam, Japan has already confirmed a match against Canada.

Canada is ranked 43rd in the FIFA rankings and finished first in the North American qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar. Led by Alfonso Davies (Bayern Munich), they are considered one of the ’emerging powers’ in North America. Japan has invited Canada to play in an October exhibition match, confirming the schedule early on. Normally, when Korea and Japan play an exhibition game at the same time, the same opponent travels back and forth between the two countries, but this is different.

Japan’s national football team will play a home exhibition match against Canada in October. The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced on the 8th of this month that all the dates for the October trials have been finalised. At the time, the Korea Football Association (KFA) had not yet announced the second opponent for the September trials. Photo: JFA

What stands out is the speed with which the JFA has organised the A-match trials. On the 7th and 8th of this month, the JFA officially announced Tunisia-Canada for October. Not only did they confirm the opponent, but also the time and venue. At the time, the KFA hadn’t even announced the opponent for the second September trial, let alone October. The schedule of the September trials is also different. Japan will face Germany (away) and Turkiye (neutral). At the same time, South Korea will play Wales (away) and Saudi Arabia (neutral). The weight of the opponents chosen for these games is significant. ‘It’s not easy to find an opponent for an exhibition match’ is just an excuse.

This is not the first time that the KFA’s administration has been criticised for its handling of trials. Just over a year ago, the last exhibition matches ahead of the World Cup in Qatar were all played domestically. Japan travelled to Germany and Iran-Saudi Arabia also travelled to neutral Europe for their final tests. With the exception of Australia, who played New Zealand in a home-and-home with Australia, South Korea was the only Asian nation to play their final test at home.

South Korea’s opponents were Costa Rica and Cameroon. With the exception of all the teams that had found suitable opponents ahead of the World Cup, the only two teams that hadn’t found an opponent like Korea were the de facto ‘leftovers’. Costa Rica travelled with a North and Central American team they would not face in the group stages of the World Cup, and Cameroon travelled with less than a full squad. The controversy surrounding the A-match trials continues, and the KFA administration has not changed.

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