As the so-called jamboree flames spread to the K League, even the Korean Football Association’s (KFA) “rushed administration” was on the chopping block. The KFA postponed the FA Cup semifinal (quarterfinal) match between Jeonbuk Hyundai and Incheon United without consulting the clubs. It was criticized as a “unilateral” announcement that violated the tournament’s rules, and now there is a question of when it will be held in the future.
On July 7, Incheon announced through their official channel, “We would like to inform you that the FA Cup semifinal against Jeonbuk, scheduled for Jeonju World Cup Stadium, has been postponed. The exact date will be announced at a later date.” “We received a letter from the KFA around noon today about the unilateral rescheduling of the match, and all players who were waiting in Jeonju were withdrawn,” the club said.
“We have made every effort to ensure that the FA Cup semi-final will go ahead as scheduled, but we regret that it has been unilaterally rescheduled. We thank our fans for their patience and understanding.” The words “unilateral” and “regrettable” appear twice in the statement, indicating Incheon’s anger at the KFA’s actions.
And for good reason. Incheon played a K League 1 match against Jeonbuk at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on June 6. A rematch was scheduled for the same venue on the 9th for the FA Cup. So, instead of returning to Incheon after the game last weekend, Incheon stayed in Jeonju to prepare for the FA Cup. The team’s league operations also included preparations for the FA Cup quarterfinals in midweek. The size of the squad that traveled to Jeonju was also larger than usual.
However, when it was officially announced that the Jamboree K-pop concert would be held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 11th, everything went wrong in Incheon and Jeonbuk. Immediately, it was impossible for the FA Cup quarterfinals scheduled for the 9th to be held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. The Jeonbuk club quickly asked the KFA to postpone the match. They also considered holding the match at a neutral venue such as Daejeon or Gwangju.
The problem was the FA Cup competition rules. The FA Cup semi-finals are played as a single-legged tie, and the draw for home games is made at the time of the draw. However, Article 15 of the FA Cup Regulations (Determination of Venue) states that if the home club refuses to host the match, the match will be held at the away team’s stadium. From Incheon’s point of view, it was only natural that the match would be held at home after Jeonju was unable to host.
However, the interpretation of whether Jeonbuk could be considered to have ‘abandoned the match’ was controversial. First of all, Jeonbuk Governor Kim Kwan-young said, “We are very grateful that Jeonbuk cooperated to move the game venue for the jamboree concert.” In fact, it is also known that CEO Heo Byung-gil conveyed his intention to cooperate with the organizers’ request, so it can be interpreted that the team has given up on holding a home game. However, since the KFA itself and the government were involved, Jeonbuk could also be interpreted as a victim team that was virtually unilaterally informed of a decision that had already been made and deprived of a home game.
It was up to the KFA to organize this. Consultations between clubs centered on the KFA were also necessary. They needed to share their arguments and positions to make the ‘best’ decision, so that the aftermath of the Jamboree could be less damaging to the clubs and fans. At such a sensitive time and on such a sensitive issue, it is also common sense to communicate and consult.
The KFA, however, did not communicate much in this regard. As the Incheon club stated in their statement, they received a “postponement” letter from the KFA without any consultation. The KFA’s letter reportedly read, “We would like to reschedule the game so that the semifinals can be attended by a large number of soccer fans, so we ask for the club’s understanding.” The postponement was unilateral.
The team, which had been staying in Jeonju, packed up and returned to Incheon in response to the KFA’s outrageous decision. The team also had to pay a cancellation penalty for all their bookings, including accommodation and training facilities. Above all, the team was outraged that there was no consultation process and no clear explanation of the decision, which was against the tournament rules.
It’s not just a matter of “postponing the game. Coincidentally, while the 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 move to Seoul is now a virtual certainty. This leaves the door open for the FA Cup match between Jeonbuk and Incheon to go ahead as originally scheduled, but the situation is already complicated.
Incheon has already traveled long distances to return home and announced the postponement through official channels. Coincidentally, neither the KFA nor Jeonbuk have yet to officially announce the postponement, raising the possibility of a rescheduled game, but it remains to be seen if the KFA will make an “unofficial” decision to reverse its own unilateral decision in less than a day. Incheon have already completely erased the scenario of playing their FA Cup match in Jeonju on September 9.
The bigger question now is when the postponed quarterfinal between the two teams will be played. For now, Incheon will have to play four games in 13 days starting this weekend. This schedule also includes the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) playoffs. Add in the FA Cup quarterfinals later this month and the early September schedule, and it’s a grueling schedule. Incheon can’t afford to take any more damage from the unilateral postponement decision.온라인카지노
There is a possibility that the match could be played during the A-Match in September, but this would be difficult for Jeonbuk, who have a number of international players. In the end, both clubs will have to find a date that works for them, and it’s not going to be easy. This is a mess that could have been avoided if the KFA had done a better job of communicating and consulting with the clubs in the first place. This is the current state of the FA Cup, which was once touted by the KFA as the most prestigious competition in Korea.