Jeju Island’s football federation accepts letter of concern over ‘lack of safety’ more than an hour before kick-off… Where are the voices on the ground?

An ‘official letter’ led to the postponement of a Korean Football Association (FA) Cup quarter-final.

Jeju World Cup Stadium was set to host the FA Cup quarter-final between Jeju United and Pohang Steelers on the 9th. The variable was Typhoon Kanun, a Category 6 storm. According to initial forecasts, Kanun was closest to Seogwipo, Jeju, at around 9pm that day.

Knowing this, officials were already at the stadium from 2pm, five and a half hours before kick-off, to assess the situation. They agreed to make a decision on whether or not to play at around 4:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., they reconvened and confirmed that the game would go ahead. So it didn’t look like there were any major problems. And so did the weather. It was raining lightly, but the stadium was not as windy as usual.

However, about an hour and 20 minutes before kickoff, the wind changed. After the starting line-ups of both teams were announced and before the pre-match interviews, the ‘postponement’ talk resurfaced. Jeju Island took matters into their own hands. At around 6.10pm, Jeju sent a letter addressed to the KFA and both clubs. In the letter, Jeju emphasised the need for government-wide precaution in the wake of the typhoon, and requested the postponement of the game due to concerns about creating a “lack of safety”.

The letter prompted a meeting between the match supervisor, the Korean Football Association, and the two clubs to “re-discuss” the postponement, which was finally called off with less than an hour to go. Officials from the KFA were present at the stadium, including Kim Yong-soo, chairman of the refereeing committee. The KFA eventually agreed to the postponement due to concerns and requests from local authorities. On the field, the fans repeatedly appealed for the game to go ahead, but to no avail.

In effect, the local governments’ concerns were the ones that led to the postponement, not the local voices. The two clubs, Jeju and Pohang, could do nothing about it. At the time the postponement was confirmed, there was a small amount of rain in Seogwipo. There were even reports from the field that it was “less windy than usual”.

Even after the postponement was confirmed, the weather didn’t change much. The Pohang team completed their training without any problems and remained quiet and calm until after midnight. Jeju coaches Nam Ki-il and Kim Ki-dong said, “This happens when you play football for a long time. It’s a shame. But we have to accept it,” they said, expressing their disappointment and regret.

In the end, the victims were football fans and two clubs. Pohang had arrived two days before the FA Cup quarter-finals and had made all the preparations. No one can compensate for the cost and time involved. Pohang fans, in particular, were unable to accept the postponement of the FA Cup and stayed away for a while.온라인바카

“Safety insensitivity,” as Jeju Island refers to it in its official letter, is the attitude of being complacent, thinking “it won’t happen to me” or “I’ll be fine,” even when danger is detected. We need to look at who is responsible for this.

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