After Jeonbuk Hyundai won’t be able to play its two scheduled home games this week at Jeonju World Cup Stadium due to the disruption of the 2023 Saemangeum World Scouting Jamboree, the Korea Professional Football Association and the Korea Football Association (KFA) are scrambling to come up with a plan.
“The K-pop concert and closing ceremony of the 2023 Saemangeum World Scouting Jamboree will be held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 11th,” Jeonbuk announced on social media on June 6, “so the two home games (scheduled for the 9th and 12th) will be rescheduled.”
The government and the jamboree’s organizing committee, which has recently come under fire for its mismanagement, decided to change the original schedule and hold the K-pop concert and closing ceremony at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 11th.
Jeonbuk is under fire for using the Jeonju World Cup Stadium as their home stadium.
Jeonbuk was scheduled to play an FA Cup quarterfinal first leg against Incheon United at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Sept. 9, followed by a K League 1 match against Suwon Samsung at the same venue on Sept. 12.
However, when it was suddenly confirmed that the jamboree would be held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, the two matches were forced to be rescheduled or postponed.
First of all, the two competitions are governed differently. The FA Cup is run by the Korea Football Association, while the K League 1 is run by the Korea Professional Football Association.
The KFA said, “The FA Cup assigns home games to each club until the quarterfinals. Home team Jeonbuk has sent a letter to the KFA stating that the 9th match (after the Jamboree) cannot be played at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, and the department in charge is discussing this as soon as possible,” the KFA explained.
There are regulations on this. Article 15 of the FA Cup Operating Regulations states that if the home team refuses to host a match, it must be played at the away team’s stadium. However, this is a rather special situation, and the KFA is in a difficult position.
An official from the KFA said, “We can’t confirm that the home team has announced its intention to withdraw. “We are discussing various possibilities, such as rescheduling and holding a neutral venue in the third region. We will make an appropriate decision as soon as possible as there are only a few days left in the existing schedule.”
Both clubs were preparing for the FA Cup quarterfinals when the fireworks started.
Jeonbuk faces the prospect of having its home advantage from the bracket draw taken away by external factors if its home matches are switched to away or neutral venues. Jeonbuk fans expressed their dissatisfaction with the move by displaying placards such as “Cooperation or intimidation?” and “Spoil the jamboree and spoil Jeonbuk” at the K League match against Incheon on the 6th.
Incheon, which had already booked all of the team’s accommodations and training grounds for the 9th game, was also affected. The Incheon squad, which finished the game on the 6th, is currently stuck in Jeonju waiting for the results.
Some Incheon fans who had prepared for a nine-day trip, like the team’s schedule, were also caught off guard, saying, “The FA Cup rules are stupid in case the home team can’t host. We should play at home in Incheon according to the rules.”
“Rescheduling a game three days in advance is difficult to understand at the professional soccer level in a country,” said a soccer insider, adding, “It is such a special case that even if there is a manual (guideline), it is not easy to apply. To begin with, the KFA is considering the option of hosting the match in Daejeon, a neutral location, as a compromise between the two clubs’ positions. It is understood that we have also completed discussions with the Daejeon World Cup Stadium.”
The Korean Football Association, which is organizing the match between Jeonbuk and Suwon on Wednesday, is also preparing alternatives amid the confusion. Options include rescheduling the game or hosting the away team’s home game.
“According to the rules, if the home team is unable to host the game, they have two weeks to notify the KFA, and based on that, we will come up with an alternative,” said an official from the KFA. “This case is special and time is short, 스포츠토토 so it’s not easy. However, we will take action as soon as possible to reduce confusion as much as possible.”