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Let`s Enjoy Soccer Itself!
Lee Jae-hun  |
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[0호] 승인 2007.05.09  
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On April 26, at 7 p.m., there was a friendly match between the Korean and Japanese national soccer teams at Chamsil

Olympic Main Stadium. Although this match was a friendly match, it brought important meanings to each national soccer

team. To Korea, because it was the first match after losing two games straight in the U-23(Under the age of 23)

Olympic team division to Japan, this match was important to Korea. To Japan, this match was the turning point to

change the coach. Because the change of Japan national soccer team`s coach, Philippe TROUSSIER, was raised recently.

Chamsil Olympic Main Stadium was full of spectators after a long time and the fever was high. The result was 1-0 and

Korea won the game. It was the first A-match since April 1, 1998. About 2 years has passed since last match and both

teams showed good quality play. I will consider the meaning of the rivalry relation between Korea and Japan with this


It is quite natural to have special attention in the match between Korea and Japan. By living 36 years under Japan`s

colonial rule, we cannot forget in our history, which has made the anti-Japanese feelings. These feelings do not

make a simple soccer match as a simple soccer at all. In addition, it is true that the match between Korea and Japan

is considered as a means to express our hostile attitude to Japan. Another reason that we think the match has a

special meaning is the fear or the sense of crisis. In those days, Japanese soccer was not threatening to Korean

soccer at all. But now, as the result of active investment and growth that has a strong base, Japanese soccer has

become somehow threatening. I think Koreans have put more attachment to the match between Korea and Japan because of

this situation. That is, Koreans can`t accept Korean soccer being pushed around by Japanese soccer thinking the old

days when they took it for granted that Japan almost always lost. For this reason, Koreans have more interest in the

match between Korea and Japan.

I think we need to change our way of thinking about the match we have between Korea and Japan. Of course, it is

difficult for us to remove our anti-Japanese feelings, as a Korean. But at least, these feelings can influence our

angle of vision to see this rivalry in negative ways. If we care to give a special meaning to the game, not the

interest in the soccer itself, we can`t find enjoyment as a soccer game in the game. I mean when people focus on the

anti-Japanese feelings, soccer itself becomes minor. How can we enjoy and understand the soccer game that is based on

emotional thinking?

In the field of soccer, the relationship between Korea and Japan is now on a turning point to new developments. It

means that the two countries are the host countries of `2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan` as a cooperation and

developmental competition. Korea and Japan can obtain important outcomes through their efforts for the successful co

-sponsorship of the World Cup. It is an excellent opportunity to develop both country`s soccer. Incidentally, we can

also enlarge our understanding of each other socially and culturally. When we enjoy soccer, the most interesting

game in the world, we should enjoy soccer itself rather than think of our specific historical situation. Let`s enjoy

soccer itself!
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