Even the football association’s hasty administration’ is controversial… Jeonbuk-Incheon match in the FA Cup semifinals

While the so-called Jamboree sparks even splattered in the K-League, even the ‘hurried administration’ of the Korea Football Association (KFA) was on the chopping block. This is because the FA Cup semi-final (four-final) Jeonbuk Hyundai-Incheon United match was postponed without consultation with the clubs. Along with the criticism that it was a ‘one-sided’ notification that violated the rules of the competition, it is now suffering from headaches over the timing of the future event.

On the 7th, the Incheon club said on the official channel, “We inform you that the FA Cup semi-final against Jeonbuk, which was scheduled at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, has been postponed. The exact schedule will be announced later,” he said.

“Our club tried its best to ensure that the semi-finals of the FA Cup went ahead as scheduled, but we regret that the schedule was changed unilaterally. We ask for the generous understanding of the fans.” If you look at the expression ‘one-sided’ or the word ‘regret’ that appeared twice, you can get a glimpse of the Incheon club’s anger at the KFA’s hasty administration. 

For good reason. Incheon played a K-League 1 match against Jeonbuk at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 6th. A rematch was scheduled for the FA Cup stage on the 9th at the same place. Accordingly, Incheon did not return to Incheon after the game last weekend and continued to stay in Jeonju to prepare for the FA Cup. In the last league game operation, movement in preparation for the FA Cup semi-finals in the middle of the week was added. The size of the team that came down to Jeonju in the first place was also larger than usual.

However, when it was officially announced that the Jamboree K-Pop Concert would be held at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 11th, everything in Incheon and Jeonbuk was twisted. It was impossible for the FA Cup semi-final scheduled for the 9th to be held at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium. The Jeonbuk club also hurriedly requested the KFA to postpone the game. A plan to hold the game in neutral stadiums such as Daejeon and Gwangju was also considered.

The problem was the rules of the FA Cup competition. The semi-finals of the FA Cup are played as a single match, and whether or not to host the home game was decided by lottery at the time of the draw. However, according to Article 15 of the FA Cup Regulations (determination of venue), if the home club refuses to host a match, it is stated that the match will be held at the away team’s stadium. From the point of view of the Incheon club, it was natural for the game to be held at home, which was impossible to hold in Jeonju based on this rule.

However, the interpretation of whether or not Jeonbuk could be seen as ‘giving up on hosting the game’ was controversial. First of all, Jeonbuk Governor Kim Kwan-young said earlier, “I am very grateful for the cooperation of the Jeonbuk club in moving the venue for the Jamboree Concert.” In fact, since CEO Heo Byeong-gil is known to have conveyed his intention to cooperate with the organizer’s request, it can be interpreted as giving up the home game. However, since it was an event in which the local government and the government intervened, it was possible to interpret that the Jeonbuk club was also a victim team that was deprived of its home after receiving virtually unilateral notification of an issue that had already been decided.

It was up to KFA to sort this out. That’s why consultations between clubs centered on KFA were also necessary. It was necessary to share each other’s opinions and positions to make the ‘lucky’ best decision. Only then could the damage to the club and fans caused by the aftermath of the Jamboree be reduced a little. As it is a sensitive issue at a sensitive time, sufficient communication and consultation was also a common sense procedure.

However, KFA did not engage in any significant communication regarding this issue. As the Incheon club said in its statement, it was to the extent that it suddenly received an official letter from the KFA about the postponement of the game without any consultation. It is reported that KFA’s official letter said, “We ask for the club’s understanding as we want to change the schedule and proceed with the game so that it can be a semi-final where a large number of soccer fans can participate.” It was a unilateral postponement notice.

The Incheon club, which was staying in Jeonju, packed up and returned to Incheon at the absurd decision of the KFA. The Incheon club also asked for cancellation penalties for reservations such as accommodation and training grounds. Most of all, I was angry that there was no consultation process during the postponement of the game, and that there was no clear explanation of the decision against the rules of the competition.

It is not simply a matter of ‘postponing the game’. Coincidentally, while the Incheon team had already left for Incheon, there were reports that the concert would be held in Seoul instead of Jeonju. In the aftermath of the typhoon, the concert’s location in Seoul is virtually confirmed. The conditions for the FA Cup match between Jeonbuk and Incheon to be held as originally scheduled have been reestablished, but the situation is already twisted.

Incheon has already returned from a long distance and announced the postponement of the game through the official channel. Unfortunately, neither KFA nor Jeonbuk clubs have officially announced the postponement, raising the possibility of holding the Jeonju summit. The Incheon team has already completely erased the scenario of playing the FA Cup in Jeonju on the 9th.

The bigger question is when the semifinals between the two postponed teams will be played. Right now, Incheon has to play 4 games over 13 days from the coming weekend. The schedule also includes the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) playoffs. If the schedule for the semifinals of the FA Cup is added at the end of this month, the schedule in early September will have to be added and the team will have to go through a forced march. Incheon, which has already suffered damage from the unilateral postponement decision, cannot bear any more losses.먹튀검증

At least, there is a possibility that the game will be held during the A-match period in September, but in this case, Jeonbuk, which has many national team-level players, will have no choice but to show reluctance. In the end, both clubs have to find a game day that they are satisfied with, but it is unclear whether this process will be easy. It is also a confusion that would not have existed if KFA had communicated and negotiated well with the clubs in the first place. This is the current state of the FA Cup, which the KFA self-regarded as the most prestigious competition in Korea.

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