The AFC Asian Cup is just over a month away, and South Korea’s national soccer team is looking to win its first title in 64 years.
The 18th edition of the tournament will take place in Qatar next January, with a total of 24 teams competing to be crowned the best in Asia.
South Korea has been drawn into Group E alongside Jordan, Bahrain, and Malaysia, and have been given an easy draw.
The Asian Cup is considered a pivotal tournament that will determine the future of Asian soccer. Once dominated by the “Big Four” of South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Iran, Asian soccer has recently seen a surge in power from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who have invested heavily in the sport, creating a de facto 3:3 balance of power between East and West Asia.
South Korea’s soccer team won two titles, in 1956 and 1960, and made a name for itself as the Tigers of Asia, but that was it. They reached four more finals, but failed to cross the threshold, and in the meantime, rivals Japan won four titles, while Saudi Arabia and Iran overtook them with three titles.레모나토토 도메인
The Korean national soccer team will once again challenge for the top spot at the Asian Cup. The need is even greater than before, as this is the last tournament in which the team’s captain, Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), will be able to play in his prime while playing abroad.
Ranking of the number of Asian Cup victories. The Korea Daily Sports
And one more thing. The K League, which has attracted the largest number of spectators in history, will also be heavily influenced by the national team’s performance at the Asian Cup.
In fact, whenever the national team has a strong showing in international competitions, such as the World Cup, it has benefited from it. The problem is that the increase in attendance usually lasts for a month or two and then fades away.
But this time was different. The national soccer team made it to the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last December, and earlier this season, League of Legends enjoyed a record-breaking box office run. Contrary to fears that it would be short-lived, stadiums were packed with fans throughout the season, resulting in an all-time high of 2,447,147 paid spectators (10,733 per game).
This makes the Asian Cup in a month’s time crucial. Winning the tournament, or at least performing well, will create a legacy that will carry over to the K League in 2024.
Han Jun-hee, vice president of the Korea Football Association, said, “If the national team performs well at the AFC Asian Cup next January, we can expect another boom in the K League in 2024. If the national team performs well at the AFC Asian Cup in January next year, we can expect another boom in the K League in the 2024 season.” He predicted that “a large influx of casual fans will fill the stadiums, and unlike in the past, watching competitive players will lead to return visits like this year, which will eventually lead to an increase in spectators.
As interest in the unprecedented success of the K League continues to grow next year, it will be interesting to see if the national team’s Asian Cup victory will spark a ticketing war in their home league.