Korean football is now a thoroughly periphery in Asia, and belongs to the non-mainstream.
The true face of Korean soccer was revealed when Chung Mong-gyu, president of the Korea Football Association, failed in the election of a member of the FIFA Council. Chairman Chung stayed in 6th place out of 7 candidates. It was somewhat predictable to be pushed back by Middle Eastern powers such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but it came as a bit of a shock that the Philippines and Malaysian candidates were not opponents.
Korean football has always volunteered to be the leader of Asia. In terms of grades, it is worth showing pride. At the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it reached the round of 16 along with Australia and Japan, and the FIFA ranking is also 25th, the third highest in Asia, so it is not unfounded pride.
The problem is that diplomacy within the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is a failing grade that is difficult to score. Chairman Chung served as a member of the FIFA Council from 2017 to 2019, but failed to seek re-election in 2019. This proves that while he served as a member of the council, he did not properly exercise diplomatic power or exert positive influence properly.
The last two election strategies were also absent. During the election season, he met various figures within the AFC and greeted them, but failed to make a sincere appeal. It has been a long time since the Middle East dominated the AFC. If so, it was necessary to form a political relationship to create ‘one’s own side’, but Chairman Chung fell on a remote island without being able to do it. One soccer player said, “To exert influence within the AFC, political collusion is important. He had to choose whether to stick to the Middle East, gather forces centered on East Asia, or build another force, but Chairman Chung did not have any strategy, but when the election time came, he blindly shouted for votes. The result is obvious.”
There are a total of 47 member countries of the AFC. Among them, 12 countries each belong to West Asia and Southeast Asia (ASEAN). Six countries belong to Central Asia, and ten countries belong to East Asia Group, which Korea belongs to. West Asia and Southeast Asia are well united, whereas East Asia chooses to live independently. It is in a disadvantageous position to obtain ‘vote’. If so, he should have set a course early, searched for a partner for cooperation, and moved politically, but Chairman Chung continued with incompetent diplomatic power without a specific master plan.
In the case of Japan, it exerts enormous influence on AFC through sponsorship. As they actively support AFC as an official global partner (Creddy Saison), official global supporter (Konami, Molten), and official wide-area partner (KDDI, Kirin), the Japanese forces within the organization have no choice but to gain strength. On the other hand, there is only one AFC sponsor in Korea, Teabing (official wide-area partner). Based on this, Japan’s Kozo Kozo, a member of the FIFA Council, defended his seat again this time.
On the other hand, Chairman Chung and the association jumped into the election without proper awareness of reality, and the end of ‘baseless confidence’ was a failure. If they continue with meaningless confidence without properly grasping the international situation, it will be difficult for Korean soccer to enter the mainstream for the time being. 메이저놀이터