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From The Stands: The Diablos

Continuing our From The Stands series where we introduce supporter groups around the K League for you to join, we chatted with 48 Shades of Football's Paul Carver about his FC Seoul supporters group, The Diablos. 
(photo by Otto Silver)

Group Background

Who are the Diablos?

The Diablos are FC Seoul’s supporter group for foreign fans. We were formed in 2013 when a few of us kept running into each other at away games around the peninsula; although the main reason that we actually “unionized” and made an official affiliated supporter group as part of FC Seoul’s Suhoshin was because we wanted access to the away match buses. Being an affiliated group brought with it all sorts of responsibilities and hassles and so once control of the away trips was handed back to the club, we quit the Suhoshin and are just muddling about by ourselves, although we’re still well-known and friendly with the other groups. We currently have about 20 members in-country although we have more than 100 members who have left Korea.  From experience, if you’ve grown up supporting a non-glamourous club you’ll fit right in.

Where is your HQ?

I would say the GS25 mart on the left at the top of the escalator out of Exit 2 of the World Cup subway station. At some point after matches, we normally end up in Hongdae, mostly at Shamrock and then on to FF. Baby Guinness in Mapo-gucheong Station is also a semi-regular haunt when the weather is too atrocious for the GS.

Where did your name come from?

We held a vote between our founder members and that was the suggestion that won. Originally the concept was that us westerners are known as “White Devils” throughout Asia so we might as well adopt that as our name. Can’t remember why we translated it into Spanish. Not so long after, someone suggested that that name made us seem like an alt-right group, which caused a lot of heated debate among members with some quitting over it. Nowadays, for all intents and purposes we’re just the Diablos. A couple of years ago, someone suggested renaming ourselves as the Seouligans and I wish I’d thought of that.

Any custom gear?

We do have some cool cloth badges of our emblem that are available for purchase at a very reasonable price. Over the years we’ve talked about other things but get put off by the talk of minimum orders and the like. A childhood of watching Only Fools and Horses has made us wary of doing a deal in a workshop somewhere for a job lot of Diablos gear.

Where can someone find out about you online?

On our Facebook Group.  Leave a message and someone will get back to you within a few hours.

At The Stadium

Does your section have a name? Do you share the section with others?

You can find us in North Stand in the aisle just to the left behind the goal. Sometimes others get there before us and try to stand there but they soon fall by the wayside. We don’t have a special name for our section.

What does your group’s game day look? 

It depends on the time of year. For early kick-offs, we tend to meet 90 mins to an hour before the game at the afore-mentioned GS for a beer or two and a chat. For an evening kick-off we may do the same or we may meet in a bar somewhere and make an afternoon of it. After the match we always head back to the GS for a swift half for the road and some post-match discussion and to host any rival fans that may be visiting that day. At some point we’ll normally drift on to Hongdae and make an evening of it. In my opinion, evening kick-offs are easier because no matter what time kick-off is, the night will always end in FF about 4am (ask Paul Neat) so if you can avoid the extra 5 hours drinking for a 2pm kick-off the next day is much better.

What are the group’s favorite chants/songs?

Well, one of the two songs played prior to kick-off is a bastardisation of “If you’re Happy and you know it” and another Seoul chant is based on “Those were the days” so those are the easiest chants for foreign fans to shout along to. For those that know a bit of Korean, “정신 차려 심판 (jeongshin chalyeo shimpan” (sort yourself out, ref) gets a chortle because inexpert ears normally hear it as “정신 차려 18” (eighteen in Korean sounds a bit like a swear word).
(photo by Otto Silver)


How far is the group willing to travel?

Personally, I’ve been to Japan, China and Australia to watch FC Seoul. The Diablos have had memorable weekends in Jeju, Busan, Gyeongju and Yeosu among others. We always try to get a weekend or two away each season. We also do some games as just a day return. Suwon, Incheon and Seongnam are obviously very well-attended.

Is there a supporters bus for away games?

There is. It used to be a lot of fun as we would enjoy some liquid refreshment while singing Seoul chants. Then the club took over running it from supporters and they took all the fun out of it. It’s random seating, no refreshments so the only thing that can be said about it is that it’s cheap at 5,000 won.
(photo by Paul Carver)

If you can’t make it to the game, where can you meet? Do you have watch parties?

Since the start of last year the club have taken to playing games on the big screen above the megastore so we watched quite a few games there. Otherwise we’ll most likely be in Shamrock in Hongdae if the match is on tv or Sam Ryans in Itaewon if we need a feed. Occasionally it all goes pear-shaped and we’re left huddled around a smartphone somewhere.

Fun Facts

What is the greatest game in FC Seoul history?

I’ve seen some great games over the years (and a lot of less-than-great games as well to be fair) but if I had to pick out a stand-out I would say beating Seongnam 3-2 away in 2012 on the run in to winning the Championship. As the clock hit 90 mins Seoul looked dead and buried and having the fatalism of a life-long Wednesday/England fan I could see them going on to lose the title. But Dejan and Molina combined for two goals in time added on with Dejan getting the winner in 7th minute of 5 and from then on the title seemed winnable. An honourable mention goes to the final match of the 2013 season where Osmar scored with the last kick of the season to grab a win down in Jeju and steal the final ACL spot off Suwon.

What makes Diablos one of the best groups in K League?

I should hope that’s self-evident after reading this! But if you need more evidence then we welcome football fans of all ages and people remain active after they leave Korea which means there are frequent meet-ups around the globe.

If you are an FC Seoul supporter and are looking for fellow fans to head to the game with, you can join the Diablos Facebook group by clicking here and get involved with events and team discussion. Additionally, if you are part of a K League supporters group and would like to be featured, please contact us at Info@KLeagueUnited.com.

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