The 2017 Alternative K-League Awards – Rock of the Year

Rock of the Year 2017

This award goes to the best defender in the K-League Classic for the 2017 season. Continue reading “The 2017 Alternative K-League Awards – Rock of the Year”

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The K-Advent Calendar Day 18 – Respect

Day18 - Respect

K-Advent Day 18 – Respect

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For anyone who has lived in Korea for more than a few days you quickly realize the importance that Korean culture places on the concept of ‘respect’. From seniority in both family and the workplace to the idea of ‘jeong‘ respect is there for all to see and ultimately follow. So it comes as no surprise that there is a level of respect in the Korean game that maybe is slightly lacking in its European and South American equals or at least at face-value anyway. Of course that’s not to say that the league doesn’t have its fair share of diving, cheating, taunting, goading and the occasional ‘rash’ challenge as after all Lee Chun Soo brought a lot of colour to the K-League in his heyday although most of that was ‘black and blue’, and not because he played for Incheon United and Ulsan! But for the most part there is a level of ‘Respect’ between opposing players, managers and even fans that can be all too often lacking in the ‘elite’ leagues. It is something that for many an expat fan can be a little strange to get one’s head around as ‘rival’ fans commonly sit together at matches albeit not in sections reserved for the ‘Ultras’. Growing up in the melting-pot atmosphere of football in the UK where fans have separate pubs and streets on match day never-mind sections in the stadium the idea of sitting with opposing fans took a while to get used to.

We at 48 Shades HQ have embraced many of Korean football’s idiosyncrasies but I think the one that we would most love to export home (Beer & Beer Girls excluded of course) is the idea of making the players bow to their fans at full-time regardless of whether they win, lose or draw. No more over-priced foreigners sprinting up the tunnel on the final whistle after succumbing to another spineless defeat in order to avoid the all too deserved wrath of their fans. In Korea the players have to make their way over to their fans and bow either in celebration or to offer up their apologies. I can just see Ronaldo doing this after a  Real Madrid defeat although he would probably just send over the other ten players as it obviously wasn’t his fault they lost. It should also be noted that although this gesture was born from the concept of showing respect it can also be used for other purposes and there is no better feeling than skelping your rivals on their own patch and then gleefully watching them trudge around the stadium apologizing to their incensed supporters.

Of course there are times when this idea of respect backfires and ultimately has a negative impact on the players and teams. It was widely reported that Uli Stelike’s first training session as manager of the national team left him less than overwhelmed as the players appeared to be waiting on orders from a senior member rather than think for themselves. Recent Jeonbuk-loanee, Lee Keun Ho, also voiced his displeasure with Qatari football for much similar reasons and there have been rumors that Lee Dong Gook demands to be involved in the majority of their forward play purely down to him being everyone’s ‘hyung’. This maybe goes some way to explain some of the insipid displays from the national team of late

Can't beat a bit of respectful candy throwing when your team loses!
Can’t beat a bit of respectful candy throwing when your team loses!

The K-Advent Calendar Day 8 – Yellow Cards

Day8 - Yellow

K-Advent Day 8 – Yellow Cards

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For the ‘football virgin’ the intricacies of the discipline system in football can be a little complex as there are numerous reasons for incurring the wrath of the referee and ultimately finding yourself ‘in the book’. In Korea the main reasons for seeing yellow can range from; standing next to Lee Dong Gook, smiling at Lee Dong Gook, looking sarcastically at Lee Dong Gook, potentially getting in the way of Lee Dong Gook scoring and the ultimate sin of patronizingly patting Lee Dong Gook on the back when he misses another sitter (it should be noted that this may escalate to red if Mr. Lee decides to drop to the ground and begin rolling around while clutching his face). Yellow cards can also be issued for the act of ‘simulation’ which refers to a player deliberately ‘diving’ to earn advantage. As well as occasionally being met with a yellow card this action is generally greeted with a cry of “get up you, it’s a man’s game” although this is becoming less common since K-League uber fan @korearacing started working weekends.

Korean referees are not exactly widely respected among K-League football fans and they can often bare the brunt for a team losing especially if that team happens to be Bucheon FC. In fairness though they don’t exactly help themselves with some of their displays and there are some times when one feels they would be as well donning the mascot’s uniform such is their obvious favoritism. There was also a recent ‘scandal’ where a group of referees were deemed to have colluded with a particular club in order to “influence” matches. The fact that said teamended up being relegated just goes to show that even when being paid directly by a club they are still incompetent.

We at 48 Shades are looking at starting our own investigation into the possibility of certain individuals of a Brazilian persuasion starting a match already on a yellow card for ‘simulation’ as based on some of their performances they are definitely pretending to be footballers. 

Bougherra_yellow
Not everybody accepts their yellow card graciously