Scandal in South Korea (2002)

The 2002 World Cup is unforgettable for a lot of causes. Above all, it was the yr of the triumphant return of Ronaldo who had simply missed two years following a horrific harm. It was additionally the yr of the fifth crowning of the Seleção of Brazil, cementing their standing as probably the most profitable crew within the historical past of the competitors.

For his or her half, England followers bear in mind the second when David Seaman was lobbed in from a Ronaldinho free-kick which was struck from a distance and from an completely unlikely angle.

Lastly, that yr, the World Cup was organized for the primary time on the Asian continent, in South Korea and Japan. Beforehand, probably the most prestigious of competitions had solely been held in Europe or South America.

Not one, however two host nations

The 2002 World Cup additionally marked historical past with a second novelty because it was the primary version to be organized collectively by two nations. Of the 24 stadiums used, 12 had been in Japan and the opposite 12 had been in South Korea.

Unavoidable strain weighed on the shoulders of the Japanese and Korean gamers who had been naturally eagerly awaited for this worldwide soccer summit which was to be held at residence. Regardless of what many observers predicted, the 2 Asian groups endured this strain very properly and performed brilliantly, particularly initially of the competitors.

The Taeguk Warriors started this World Cup with a primary success on a clear sheet after a confrontation with Poland, thanks to 2 achievements signed Yoo Sang-chul and Hwang Solar-hong, two gamers from the Asian championships virtually unknown to the nice viewers.

Reality be instructed, South Korea’s 11 was largely made up of gamers unknown to the remainder of the world. On this crew, solely two gamers, together with the well-known midfielder of the Purple Devils Park Ji-sung, performed exterior Asia. The crew was additionally led by famend Dutch supervisor Guus Hiddink offering them with actual management to thrive on this competitors.

After their victory (2-0) in opposition to the Polish White Eagles, the South Koreans drew in opposition to the US (1-1), earlier than making a shock by beating Portugal (1-0) because of their nugget of the Premier League. Park scored one of many most interesting targets of the competitors on this event by cushioning the ball from the chest on a cross within the penalty space, earlier than slicing it fastidiously with the best foot inside to strike it with the left eliminating alternately Sérgio Conceição and Vítor Baía. With a complete of seven factors, the undefeated South Koreans certified for the spherical of 16 on the prime of their group.

For the Japanese, the story was related. They too have proven that they won’t be straightforward opponents to play on their land. Underneath Frenchman Philippe Troussier, who simply 12 months earlier had taken Japan to the ultimate of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the Blue Samurai performed in the same configuration to that of their co-hosts, in that ‘they lacked gamers taking part in within the huge European leagues.

For this World Cup, the Japanese choice consisted primarily of gamers taking part in in Asia, with solely two who had already ventured into Europe. Others would take this step later after the event.

First, Japan met Belgium, to earn a degree after a efficiency that was irritating to say the least. Certainly because of a aim from Junichi Inamoto, who will later play for a number of European groups resembling West Brom, Galatasaray and Frankfurt, the Japanese had managed to take the lead till the final quarter of an hour of play throughout which they had been rejoin. Nonetheless, with this primary level, the frustration of Japan was removed from that means its elimination.

Ultimately, this draw constituted a strong base which allowed the Blue Samurai to progress comfortably by beating Russia on the finish of the second day, once more because of Inamoto, writer of the one and solely aim of this assembly. Lastly, on the third day, they signed a comparatively straightforward victory (2-0) in opposition to Tunisia, which allowed them to finish this primary spherical on the prime of their group.

Some opponents on the best way to glory

On the aspect of Japan, hope dissipated in a short time to provide technique to despair after the elimination within the spherical of 16 of Troussier’s males in opposition to Turkey (0-1).

For his or her half, the South Koreans continued the journey by beating Italy (triple world champion at the moment), then the Spaniards within the quarter-finals. On the finish of this outstanding run, Hiddink’s males performed the primary semi-finals of their historical past in opposition to a German crew feared by all. The Korean saga got here to an finish with this very shut match, throughout which the Mannschaft took the lead because of Michael Ballack’s sole achievement within the seventy fifth minute.

By reaching the final 4 and successful their ticket to the small last doubtlessly synonymous with third place, the South Korean gamers gained the delight of a complete individuals in addition to the help of the Japanese united symbolically for the victory of the Asian continent in opposition to the Turks.

By beating Italy and Spain, the South Koreans made historical past by changing into the primary Asian nation to succeed in the semi-finals of a World Cup. This feat was all of the extra outstanding, because it was the work of a neophyte choice which didn’t profit from all of the expertise of the nice European and South American nations.

On the best way that led them to the final 4 nonetheless, the Warriors of Taeguk weren’t spared by the controversy. The victory of South Korea within the spherical of 16 had certainly angered the Italians, outraged by sure refereeing selections taken in the course of the match.

A sport with doubtful selections

From the beginning of the match, the Asian Tigers tried to go ahead and their assaults prompted huge issues for the Italians. On this respect, some males of the Squadra couldn’t escape a primary collection of sanctions. Following some jostling within the penalty space, referee Byron Moreno shortly awarded a penalty to the Koreans. For a lot of, this determination was not sufficiently motivated. Do not forget that it was 2002 and at the moment pushing and pulling shirts within the field had been not often sanctioned.

Both method, it was a golden alternative for South Korea and Ahn Jung-Hwan was the person to take the penalty. The striker superior in entrance of the cages of the nice Gianluigi Buffon and the latter managed to dive to his proper to repel the shot.

Squadra Azzurra then stabilized the ship to take the lead and open the scoring with a Christian Vieri strike after 18 minutes, however issues went downhill in a short time for Giovanni Trapattoni’s males.

The Korean warriors fought tirelessly to come back again to the rating and went to battle over your complete floor of the sector, benefiting from Byron Moreno’s timid whistle which didn’t work to penalize various faults but deemed flagrant.

The faults continued to accentuate with out the referee deigning to place his hand in his pocket. After a very tough sort out on Gianluca Zambrotta within the second half, Italy had been even compelled to make a change in opposition to their plans.

With time operating out and most selections seeming to go in opposition to them, the Italians discovered themselves defending on the entrance to their penalty space, when a poorly cleared cross fell on the ft of Seol ki-Hyun to attain the aim of legalization.

On a parity rating on the finish of regulation time, the 2 groups continued the match in further time. The golden aim rule utilized and promised an additional tense half-hour, particularly for the Italians who continued to be affected by Byron Moreno’s selections. The legendary Francesco Totti was additionally the sufferer of a foul within the South Korean penalty space however once more, the referee didn’t deem it essential to whistle. As a substitute, he most popular to penalize the already warned attacker for diving, and despatched him again to the locker room.

After this blow, a really doubtful offside was whistled in opposition to the Italians who appeared positive to attain if the flag had remained down. Lastly, after 116 minutes of additional time, the golden aim got here by means of the top of the person who appeared set to attain that night time. Ahn Jung-Hwan, who had missed his penalty nearly two hours earlier, delivered the coup de grace to the Squadra Azzura to go from ugly duckling standing to that of hero, on the finish of an ubiquitous match.

Furthermore, earlier than the World Cup, the striker had been loaned to Perugia to play in Serie A. The day after the match, the Korean’s mortgage contract was terminated by membership president Luciano Gaucci who declared ” I’ve no intention of giving a wage to a participant who ruined Italian soccer “. Rejected on the opposite aspect of the Alps, the savior of the spherical of 16 continued his profession in France and Germany beneath the colours of FC Metz and MSV Duisburg.

Whether or not you are considering blatant corruption or extra merely a present of incompetence on the a part of the referee, one factor is definite: the Italians have been hit arduous by this final result. For his or her half, the South Koreans remained heroes within the nation, and undeniably wrote historical past by qualifying for his or her first quarter-final of the World Cup.

Extra controversies to come back

Following what was one of the crucial controversial refereeing performances within the historical past of world soccer, an unbelievably excessive variety of complaints descended on FIFA.

Sadly for the co-hosts of this World Cup, the controversy did not finish there as they had been once more embroiled in a scandal in the course of the match in opposition to Spain within the quarter-finals.

As in opposition to the Italians, the Koreans performed very aggressively in opposition to the Spaniards. Though the referee total did a extra severe job in penalizing nearly all of fouls, some contentious selections had been made that night time. To the amazement of the La Roja gamers, two targets had been disallowed and the rating remained goalless for 120 minutes.

The 2 groups needed to determine on penalties and the stress at its peak could possibly be learn on the tense faces of the 2 picks, till the coup de grace delivered by Hong Myung-Bo after Joaquin’s missed shot.

Following this victory as a follow-up to that of the spherical of 16, accusations of match fixing and corruption had been launched. Particularly, by the Spanish media who sued these answerable for stating unequivocally that they’d allowed the South Koreans to win. On the best way residence, Spanish defender Iván Helguera known as the match “flight“.

The 2002 World Cup had the advantage of introducing the world to the delights of Asian soccer. The 2 host nations can have proven a spectacular aggressiveness to honor the occasion, however this version will eternally be tainted by the reminiscence of a wierd arbitration, specifically in Daejeon, a cursed place for the Squadra Azzurra.

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