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The purpose is good… but will A match in Busan be okay?

A match was held for the first time in 4 years since the game against Australia in June 2019
Concert ahead of the game against Peru, concerns about performance deterioration due to damaged grass
Partially damaged roof was left unattended, an obstacle to pleasant game viewing 안전놀이터

Busan Asiad Main Stadium, where the friendly match against Australia was held in June 2019. ⓒ Daily An DB
[Daily An = Reporter Kim Pyeong-ho] Concern is arousing concern as one of the venues for the June A-match friendly match of the national soccer team has been decided in Busan.

The national soccer team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany), will play an evaluation match against Peru at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium on June 16th.

The Busan Asiad Main Stadium is a sacred place for soccer where Korea recorded its first victory in the World Cup. In the first round of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup group stage, Hwang Seon-hong and Yoo Sang-cheol scored consecutive goals to win 2-0 against Poland.

The national soccer team took its first step in the legend of the World Cup semifinal here 21 years ago. The epicenter of the red wave covering the whole of Korea is also the Busan Asiad Main Stadium.

However, after the World Cup, there were not many opportunities to open A matches. Complex factors such as the geographical disadvantage of being far from the metropolitan area and the fact that it is not a soccer-only stadium worked.

A match is held in Busan, where it was not easy to hold a national team match. It is the first time in four years since the match against Australia in June 2019 that a friendly A match will be held in Busan.

Intent is good. It is necessary to give local fans the right to watch as part of regional arrangements. In particular, Busan, where the Peru match is held, is currently putting efforts into hosting the 2030 Busan Expo. If Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) visit Busan, they are expected to enjoy considerable publicity.

Busan Asiad Main Stadium with the roof pierced by a typhoon in 2020. ⓒ Korea Football Association
The question is whether the Busan Asiad Main Stadium is a suitable place for an A-match.

The biggest concern is the grass. On the 27th, the ’29th Dream Concert’ will be held at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium. Some degree of damage to the turf is inevitable, but it is unclear whether it can be restored to the best condition for an A match by the day of the game.

Players are sensitive to turf conditions. In the past, Son Heung-min poured out his determination, saying, “I am angry at the condition of the grass” after stepping on the poorly managed Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The condition of the ground is as important as it is for players who have stepped on only the best turf in advanced soccer countries such as Europe, but it is not certain whether the Busan Asiad Main Stadium will be able to meet the expectations of the players.

In addition, part of the roof of the Busan Asiad Main Stadium is currently damaged due to the typhoon ‘Mysak’ that came in 2020. Until the game against Peru, perfect compensation is said to be difficult. Of course, it doesn’t look good from the outside, but if it rains, the fans will have to bear the damage.

There are also great concerns about whether the A match, which will be held in Busan for the first time in four years, will be held normally as much as the high expectations.

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