The unity of soccer players took place off the field. The tournament was held in an upbeat atmosphere, in line with Korean soccer’s overwhelming success, including the World Cup Round of 16 and Kim Eun-jung-ho’s fourth-place finish.
Organized by the Korea Football Association (KFA), the Korea Football League, Ulsan Hyundai, and Jeonbuk Hyundai, and sponsored by six sports media companies, Daily Sports, Sports Chosun, Sports Kyungbuk, Sports Donga, Sports Seoul, and Sports World, the 2023 Footballers’ Golf Tournament was held at Oak Hills CC in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on the 13th. It was a stage for unity and friendship among footballers after four years of being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic since the sixth edition in 2019.
In particular, Korean soccer made a big impression last year when the A national team advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in 12 years at the World Cup in Qatar, and the Under-20 (U-20) national team recently reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The tournament was especially meaningful as Korean soccer has experienced a second renaissance.
The topic of conversation was the U-20 World Cup quarterfinals, which was achieved by the future of Korean soccer. For Gimcheon Managing Director Jung Jung-yong, who was a runner-up four years ago, it was even more special. “We did well in this tournament despite not having a star player like Lee Kang-in. I think the national team did better than four years ago. The important thing is that the players who played in this tournament should continue to play a lot for their teams. I hope that the K4 League and other stages where young resources can play will be actively utilized.”
Park Jin-seop, head coach of Busan I-Park, said, “I believe that the U-20 World Cup’s two consecutive quarterfinal performances were achieved because we utilized the U-22 system. There are some who point out that players in this age group did not get much playing time for their clubs, but I think it is meaningful in terms of promoting the recruitment of promising players.”
KFA President Chung Mong-kyu said, “The coaches can use more young players. I hope they will give them a chance,” he said, adding that he hoped the U-20 quartet would continue to play after the tournament.
The golf tournament, which began in earnest after noon, was attended by more than 60 people, including former and current managers of the K League and national teams, administrators, media personnel, and former and current players. The participants were divided into groups of four and played around the course to determine the final ranking. The participants played each hole in a friendly atmosphere rather than a competitive one, with shouts of “good shot” to their teammates and smiles on their faces as they exchanged silly jokes.
Seongnam FC coach Lee Ki-hyung and Bucheon FC coach Lee Young-min, who are scheduled to meet on the 24th after the A-Match break, were in the same group and played a preliminary match. When Lee joked, “I’m going to beat him so he can’t sit on the bench in the next match,” Lee said, “My team won the game where I couldn’t sit on the bench (due to coronavirus),” causing the crowd to laugh.
Park Jin-seop, the head coach of Busan I-Park, welcomed the reunion through the soccer-golf tournament. He said, “There are some people I haven’t seen in a long time and some seniors. I’m glad to see everyone after a long time. I think we should say hello more often,” he smiled.
Meanwhile, Park Joo-young (Ulsan – 71.8 strokes) was the winner 먹튀검증 of the New Perio method, which assigns a handicap to a hidden hole. He edged out second-place Seongnam coach Lee Ki-hyung (72) and third-place Jeju United coach Nam Ki-il (72.2).
The medalist award, given to the lowest score, went to Pohang head coach Kim Ki-dong (2-under 70). This is the fourth time Kim has won the medalist award. The Longest Drive Award went to Lee Min-sung with a distance of 246 meters.