Honestly, is Busan a city worthy of hosting an A match?

Honestly, is Busan a city worthy of hosting an A match?

I was surprised to see the location of the match announced by the Korea Football Association in relation to the A match in June. The Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will face off against Peru on June 16 at the Asiad Main Stadium in Busan and against El Salvador at the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon on June 20. Even if it was Daejeon, which had already successfully held A-matches several times, it seemed like a pretty unusual decision to have the Peru match in Busan. It is all the more so because there is Ulsan Munsu Stadium in close proximity.

It seems to be a decision to give strength to the city of Busan, which is running to host the 2030 World Expo (EXPO). As it is a national issue that fully supports Busan City’s efforts to host a global event well, even President Yoon Seok-yeol, I fully agree with the purpose of helping the Korea Football Association. Of course you should help. But why does it feel strange that an A match is held in Busan?

A-matches or age-specific national competitions have been held in many cities, but no city felt as unprepared to host a mammoth football match as Busan. I’m saying this in case you misunderstand, but I’m not saying that Busan fans shouldn’t enjoy A matches. On the contrary, I believe that such large events should be held more often in Busan, the second largest city in Korea. However, there is a reason why it is still considered strange.

This is because I wonder how much the city of Busan has contributed in terms of football and even sports. There is no justification, and there is not even preparation.

Often, when famous people in Busan introduce Busan City from a sports point of view, they describe it as ‘the old city of Busan’ or ‘the sacred place of the first victory in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan’, but at this point, these words just feel empty. There are quite a lot of them. It is reflected not only in the eyes of the people of Busan, but also in the eyes of outsiders. And it deserves to feel that way.

Let me point out. From a professional sports perspective, there is no local government that does not cooperate with the club as much as Busan City. Think of professional ball sports, including soccer. Putting aside anything else, there are too many cases of people trying to leave Busan or actually leaving Busan compared to other big cities.

The only things I remember are Kia Enterprise in 2003 (Ulsan Mobis/Basketball after relocation), Busan I-Park in 2004 (attempt to relocate), and KT Sonic Boom in 2021 (Suwon KT Sony Boom/Basketball) three times. Although other cities are attracting corporate clubs with gratitude, Busan City seems to regard it as just a company operating within its jurisdiction. The problem is that they should be able to do well in sales, but even that is not possible. In other countries, we have to look back on why this is happening even though it is a ‘second city’, a large city with 3.3 million people who are eager to settle down.

I don’t know the circumstances of other sports, so I’ll focus only on K-League Busan. When hearing various news from Busan, it seems pitiful that Busan is willing to run a professional sports business in Busan. To put it a little harshly, it’s better to be treated badly and not relocate.

Busan, which already had to give up its homeroom last year for a large-scale concert, has to give up its homeroom this year as well. The Dream concert is scheduled here on May 27th. There are even rumors that another concert will be held in the future for the reason of creating a boom. I emphasized just in case, but Busan is a ‘customer’ who pays the rent for the stadium set by Busan City.

Because of this, Busan had to play its last home game last year at an auxiliary stadium where professional games should not be held. And because of this Dream Concert, they are moving their nest again to Gudeok Stadium in Busan.

On the other hand, there is mention of remodeling the baseball field of Busan Asiad Main Stadium, but that said, no specifics have been made about an alternative stadium to be used by Busan, which is currently using this stadium as a home room. After Park Hyung-joon took office as Mayor of Busan, there was talk of building a dedicated stadium, but so far it was just an ’empty check’. 안전놀이터 Busan soccer fans, who would have put a bit of hope in the thought of not knowing, only spit out self-deprecation saying, then.

It’s not just a stadium problem. The 20-year donation arrears period for Busan’s clubhouse is now over. So, the Busan front desk and players are currently paying rent to Busan City and using the clubhouse they completed with a shovel.

Although it is said that it is unavoidable according to the law, it is just an excuse when you recall that other local governments help professional sports teams settle down in various ways, such as special ordinances. If you have the concept of supporting the development of professional sports, there is no local government that will just let go. If there is no way, we must put our heads together to find a solution, but the city of Busan has never shown such a will.

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