Any sporting event between the two countries always has an added competitive advantage given the historic tensions between South Korea and Japan.
The last time the two met in an international friendly in 2011, Japan won 3-0 at home.
Since then, the rivals have met four times at the East Asian Football Federation championship, with South Korea winning two of those matches, Japan one the other match. no.
The South Korean national team are now in Yokohama, Japan for Thursday’s friendly match. However, some South Korean fans have called for the match to be canceled due to concerns about the safety of the team while traveling amid a global Covid-19 pandemic.
A frightening precedent concerns fans
“When we say don’t do it, please don’t,” one user commented.
Fans referred to last November when the South Korean national team traveled to Austria for friendlies, where seven players contracted coronavirus despite complying with Covid-19 regulations implemented to prevent the spread. .
Korean football fan Kim Tae-yeon said: “After the trip to Austria, K League clubs were strategically impacted as domestic players were unable to participate in the Asian Champions League (ACL) due to of Covid-19 infection. ”
Kim said the precedent made him more nervous about the team’s trip to Japan. “The Covid-19 situation in Japan does not look good, and there are infected J League players as well.”
Rivalry welcomes 10,000 spectators
Sporting events have taken place behind closed doors or with limited capacity as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage.
Korean football fan Cho Min-sang slammed JFA move
“I think leaving 10,000 spectators is a decision that ignores all the efforts in the world, because people are concerned about their safety and make an effort to enjoy the game at the stadium,” he said.
Kim and Cho both compared spectator capacity to the K League, South Korea’s professional soccer league. The K League accommodates only 10% of the stadium capacity in the Seoul metropolitan area and 20% in the rest of the country, while away supporters are banned in order to minimize the risk of infection from traveling.
“I am concerned for the health of the players, spectators and premises,” Cho said.
Fans must scan QR codes, physical distance, wear masks, check temperatures and wash their hands. Singing, physical contact with others, and the waving of flags or scarves are prohibited and, although eating and drinking is permitted, fans must immediately put on their masks.
Individuals were required to wear a mask and transparent face shield when traveling to Narita Airport on Monday.
Upon their return from Japan, 16 drafted K League players will be placed in cohort quarantine at the Paju National Football Center for seven days.
Some Korean fans are also upset that 16 K League players traveling to Japan could be physically exhausted from the trip and quarantine.
“The K League has a tight schedule as the ACL and World Cup qualifiers have been postponed,” said Kim, a FC Seoul fan. “I am afraid that if a drafted player is infected it would be a huge loss for the club.”
Fans, however, agree on the need to self-quarantine, as their concerns about the game are about the safety of the team as they seek the team’s victory in the rivalry.
“Since the team is already here [in Japan], I hope they win and come back safe and sound, ”one commented on KFA Instagram.
“I sincerely hope that no one will be injured or infected,” Cho said.
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