It’s risky, but if you change your perspective, you can see it as an interesting element.
In Korean sports as a whole, ‘Confucian culture’ is deeply rooted. There is a hierarchical order between seniors and juniors, and coaches and players are bound by the expression ‘teacher-teacher relationship’. Courtesy to each other is more important than anything else, so even if you do well, it’s hard to say that you did well, and even if you hate it, it’s hard to say that you hate it.
That culture has recently changed. Whether it is a coach or a player, an atmosphere is being created in which people freely or boldly express their thoughts without adding or subtracting, and even refute each other. There are outspoken remarks coming and going that some worry that they are crossing the line.
The truth battle between Ulsan director Hong Myung-bo and Amano Jun started. Coach Hong was indignant at the fact that Amano left for Jeonbuk Hyundai, his rival, against his promise to him, and criticized him intensely as “the worst player”. The level was so high that most officials in the soccer world felt puzzled. Amano did not lose either, and accompanied by his personal interpreter, he calmly explained his position, revealing his will not to lose.
It wasn’t a war of words, but there was also a case where a player shot the coach. This is Suwon FC’s Yoon Bitgaram. Having played for Jeju United, he openly expressed his regret for coach Nam Ki-il by saying, “We didn’t agree with each other” and “I was hurt a lot by the situation I experienced for the first time in the professional world, such as not being able to participate in training.” To Yoon Bit-garam, who left the team earlier, Nam said, “It’s a pity that I couldn’t talk much. I’m sorry. It is a process that I do not want to repeat again.”
Another incident occurred after the opening of the K-League. This time, Lee Jeong-hyo is the manager of Gwangju FC. After losing the game against FC Seoul on the 5th, Coach Lee surprised many by saying, “I feel angry about losing to a team that plays soccer like that.” It was controversial because it looked like it was aimed at FC Seoul coach Ahn Ik-soo, who was a big senior. It was a remark that crossed the line depending on the point of view that made the members of Seoul hot. Considering the sentiment of domestic leaders who value relationships between seniors and juniors as they get older, Lee’s remarks were obviously unconventional. 스포츠토토
From a conservative point of view, there is plenty of room for problems, but from another point of view, it can be seen as adding interest in that it creates a new story for the K-League. In overseas soccer, the ‘dis battle’ is sometimes regarded as the start of a fierce game. Quite a few soccer officials say they are looking forward to May 9, the next match between Gwangju and Seoul. I wonder what banners Seoul supporters will raise against Lee’s remarks, and how Gwangju fans will protect Lee. In fact, the confrontation between Ulsan and Jeonbuk and Jeju and Suwon drew great attention as a non-game story.
The world changes. As much as the soccer world is a part of society, change is inevitable. Looking at the recent air, the K-League is definitely changing.