Korea Football Association: “We were asked first”
As South Korean soccer heads into a two-game October A-match series, there is no shortage of criticism of the team’s exhibition match against Vietnam on Sunday.
This is because the team will have little time to prepare for the Asian Cup in Qatar next January, and the fact that they are facing an underdog from Southeast Asia is not fair. This has led to calls for resting key players such as Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) and Kim Min-jae (27, Munich).
Recently, there was even a misconception among some fans that the KFA paid for the invitation to Vietnam.
The KFA has been busy clearing up the misunderstanding as the match against Vietnam at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday approaches.
An official from the association met with reporters before the national team’s training session at the Paju Training Center on the 11th and said, “Not only did Vietnam request the match, but we did not pay for the invitation or any other expenses incurred during their stay. The situation is different from the stories circulating among fans,” he explained. He continued, “Normally, such expenses are incurred for an exhibition match, but it is customary for Asian countries to take care of their own expenses. Tunisia is a strong team, so we paid for everything.”
He added that national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann wanted to play Vietnam. With the team facing a number of Southeast Asian opponents in the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup starting in November, as well as the Asian Cup, the team needed a chance to get a feel for the true strength of their opponents.
South Korea will face China and Thailand in the second round and the winners of the first round between Singapore and Guam. In Group E of the Asian Cup, they will face Malaysia, Jordan, and Bahrain for a spot in the round of 16. They will play three teams from Southeast Asia.스포츠토토
“In Asia, Klinsmann may have difficulty identifying strengths outside of the major nations,” the official said. “Watching the recent Asian Champions League (ACL) matches was a testament to the quality of Asian soccer as a whole, not just our players.”