Shin reiterates sharp criticism of Korean football

A controversial football commentator severely criticised the Korean Football Association for a "strategic mistake" in hastily appointing Pim Verbeek as new manager of the Korea Republic national football team. "Appointing a new manager was an issue that should have been determined by taking enough time for discussions and reviews," Shin Moon-sun said on CBS radio. He warned that deciding who will lead Team Korea even before the World Cup was over "will turn off many soccer fans from the nation's football league, despite the World Cup being a very good opportunity to promote the league."

Shin said K-League games now have practically no spectators. "Professional soccer players are playing one another in an empty stadium with no one to cheer them, despite our first-ever overseas victory in the World Cup and the very good performance by Team Korea in their match against Switzerland," he said when nominating two mistakes. "One is to blame the failure to advance into the final 16 on bad calls by referees, and the other to appoint Pim Verbeek as new manager in haste," he told Chosun newspaper.

Shin reiterated inflammatory remarks that cost him his job late last month, saying a controversial off-side decision in Korea Republic's game against Switzerland in the World Cup should not have been played up. "Korean Football Association president Chung Mong-Joon told the public he would protest against bad calls by referees over the off-side issue to FIFA, and it infuriated people and poured oil on the flames by not offering accurate information on the off-side rule to the people who didn't know enough about it."

Shin was branded a traitor by some when he sided with the referee over his decision to overrule a line judge who signaled Swiss forward Alexander Frei was off-side in Switzerland's game with Korea on 24 June. Frei scored a second goal for his team in the 32nd minute of the second half. Such was the outcry over Shin's remark that SBS, where he was meant to work until 10 July, sent him home on 28 June.

"There is a culture spreading in Korean society where the words of specialists are denounced by interest groups on the internet. I worry about this ailment of soccer insanity. Even though Germany is the host country, it is hard to find posters about the games outside of the soccer stadium. They enjoy the game, but we descend into an tmosphere of demagoguery and warfare. The victim of this is none other than me. We must fix this misguided soccer culture. It has reached the level of being absurd and disturbing. The silent majority agrees with my accurate and clear commentary, and really sees things that way," he earlier told Ryu Yi-geun of Hankyoreh 21.

Comments