Korea and Japan have a complicated relationship in many ways. This is especially true in politics, as well as in sports where winning and losing are clear. But it’s not always sharp. We cooperate according to each person’s needs and according to the situation. The Korean Football Association (KFA) and Japan Football Association (JFA) are looking for an A-match opponent.
The International Football Federation (FIFA) designated March 20-28 as A-Match Week. It is the first A-match series since the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and it is also the first step toward the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the three North and Central American countries (Canada, the United States, and Mexico). In Korean soccer, which parted ways with coach Paulo Bento (Portugal) after the Qatar World Cup, it is attracting much attention as the debut stage of the new coach.
While promoting domestic friendly matches, the outline of the opponent country was also revealed. We are planning to invite South American countries such as Uruguay and Colombia. There was no contact with Argentina, the “World Cup Champion,” who is planning a grand celebration party in their country, and Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay, who faced each other in Korea in June last year. Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela are also among the candidates for the March A match, but KFA is putting more weight on Uruguay and Colombia, which are classified as world-class powerhouses.
They are all familiar opponents. In particular, Uruguay clashed in the first round of Group H of the Qatar World Cup group stage last November and drew 0-0. Although they are greatly behind with 1 win, 2 draws and 6 losses in their relative performance, they won 2-1 in the evaluation match in October 2018, at the beginning of the launch of ‘Bento’. Colombia, who visited Korea in March 2019, has met 7 times in history, recording 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.
Of course, Korea is not the only country that has come into contact with Uruguay and Colombia. Japan is also likely to face off against these two teams. The JFA, which decided to accompany coach Hajime Moriyasu, who directed the Qatar World Cup, also contacted South American countries, not Europe or Africa. Local media are also looking forward to the East Asian expedition of their national team.
Practical reasons are great. Countries on other continents are not subject to review. In Europe, qualifying for the 2024 European Championship begins, and North and Central America, where the Nations League will be held, and Africa, which is about to qualify for the Nations Cup, are also difficult. 스포츠토토
Both Uruguay and Colombia are expected to play two consecutive matches in Korea and Japan in the form of a ‘package’. It’s a ‘win-win’ format for everyone. First of all, KFA and JFA can share guarantees and expenses such as airfare and lodging, and the inviting country can minimize fatigue from long-distance travel. It’s not unfamiliar. Even in June of last year, the matches against Brazil, Chile and Paraguay unfolded in this form.
There is another interesting point. The Korea-Japan match emerged as surprise news as major Japanese media covered the remarks of Yasuharu Sorimachi, head of the JFA Technical Committee, that “Korea deserves to be considered as a World Cup finalist.” Since up to two games can be played during the A-match week in March, it will naturally be ‘nothing’ if the national teams of the two countries meet Uruguay-Colombia, but in the future, when the sparring opponent is not suitable, if each other’s position is settled, the best that can be achieved at any time It’s a hit card.