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K League Headlines: August 3rd – 9th

K League News

After another busy week of Korean football news, K League United's Chris Park wades through the headlines in the Korean media to find stories you may have missed.

[K League] U22 Rule To Apply to Sangju Sangmu from 2020

The K League operates a mandatory starting system in regards to the number of under 22 players feature in the matchday squad, which has been implemented across both K League 1 and 2. However, this system did not apply to Sangju Sangmu this season due to Sangju Sangmu’s special military club status. Asan, a former police club, has had to meet U22 requirements this season due to its transformation into a citizen side. Starting next year, however, Sangju will also be subject to the U22 rule. Therefore, there must be two U22 players in each of their matchday squads with one player starting. The federation added that the intention is to resolve military issues through the early enlistment of possible players, adding the background for the expansion of the mandatory starting system.

In addition, the league has lowered the possible age of the semi-pro contract system from 18 to 17. The semi-pro contract system, introduced from the 2018 season, is mainly aimed at strengthening the youth system and expanding opportunities for young players to compete. In fact, Oh Hyun-gyu of Suwon Samsung made his K-League debut in April and Busan IPark also signed a contract with Kwon Hyuk-kyu last July. If a player of that age signs a contract with a professional club, a player can participate in an official K League game as well as a youth tournament organized by the league as a member of a youth side.

Source: Sports Seoul (Park Bum-jun)
Date: August 6th, 2019

[Youth] Healthy 'Roots' of the K League Growing all over the Country

In 2008, the K-League made an important decision regarding the future of the K League, establishing a "K-League youth operation system." In response, the league made it mandatory for all teams participating in the K League to have a youth system in place (U-18, U-15 and U-12) and launched the "K League Junior League," a weekend league.

Over a decade later, the K League has established its youth system. In the past, teams used to supply new players through drafts and free selection, but in recent years, recruiting players who grew up in their youth system has become the main way. As of 2019, there were a total of 244 players moving up from the youth teams in the K League 1 and K League 2, accounting for 29.3% of all players. The figure is slightly up from 25.7% (209) last year.

The league has created a more advanced framework this year to further embellish the perfectly established Youth Championship competition. Most noticeable is that it is not ranked. The Federation’s PR manager said, “We wanted youth players to focus on the match rather than the rank. For young players, it is more important to enjoy soccer itself than the position. So from this year on, we don't pick the winning team with a tournament. Of course, there is no first place or last place."

The night games, one of the features of the competition, will also be carried out as they are. This year, the U-14 and U-15 competitions and the U-17 and U-18 competitions will be held in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province. The U-11 and U-12 competitions will be held in Ulsan, and all stadiums are equipped with lighting facilities that allow night games. All matches will start after 6 p.m., and players can show off their skills to their fullest in a cooler environment. In addition, individual players are provided with a game analysis system through video filming of the game.

As such, the league is making the utmost efforts to make the K-League youth system more advanced and healthy roots are spreading across the country as such fruits are formed one or two.

Source: Best Eleven (Son Byung-ha)
Date: August 6th, 2019

[READ: K League July 2019 Newsletter]

[K League] Jeju United’s Lee Chang-min Sentenced

Lee Chang-min, a member of Jeju United FC who caused four casualties in a car accident on Jeju Island last year was sentenced to 10 months in prison with a two-year probation. Lee Chang-min was driving his Land Rover at 8:48 p.m. on November 5th last year when he crashed into another vehicle. In the accident, Hong, who was riding in the back seat of the other car, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital but passed away. In addition, the driver and two other fellow passengers were also seriously injured, which required them to have a recovery period of eight to 12 weeks.

The investigation found that at the time, the player was driving at a speed of 100 km/h on a road with a speed limit of 30 km/h when he violated the centre line and collided with another vehicle. Lee's blood alcohol concentration was not measured.

Source: Newsis (Kang Kyung-tae)
Date: August 8th, 2019

[Youth] High School Football Championship to get Underway

The 55th Autumn Korean High School Football Championship, hosted by the Korean High School Football Association, will run for 16 days in Hapcheon from August 11th - 26th. The competition was held in the form of a low-grade festival from 2014 to 2017 but has been heating up since last year when it was changed to an official competition. 57 teams will participate in this year's tournament. Starting from this year, the U-17 tournament, in which low-grade players can participate, will also be held. The event is designed to give sophomore and junior players more experience since they have fewer chances to play compared to seniors.

The Korean High School Football Association decided to host matches only in the afternoon in order to improve players' health and performance. The kickoff time for the league match is from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The High School Federation will broadcast the event live. The group stage up until the semifinals will be broadcast on YouTube, whilst the final will be broadcast live on SPOTV. The league will also offer live-score updates on its website.

Source: Sports Seoul (Do Young-in)
Date: August 8th, 2019

[FA Cup] FA Cup Semifinals Drawn

The semifinals of the FA Cup have been drawn. Daejeon Korail and Sangju Sangmu will meet in the first semifinal, while Hwaseong FC and Suwon Samsung Bluewings will face each other in the second clash. Both the semifinals and the final will be played across home and away legs. The first leg of the semifinals will take place on September 18th and the second round on Oct. 2. The first round of the final is on Nov. 6, and the second round is on Nov. 10.

In the FA Cup semifinals, VAR will be introduced to improve the quality of judgment. As Daejeon Korail and Hwaseong FC do not use the VAR system in their leagues, there are plans to establish a suitable environment for VAR implementation through pre-testing.

Source: Xsports News (Heo In-whoi)
Date: August 8th, 2019

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