Everyone is a victim. Whether it was the rescheduling of the game or the change of venue, no one was laughing.
At 2 p.m. on June 6, Jeonbuk Hyundai received embarrassing news ahead of their home game against Incheon United in the 25th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023. A K-POP concert, the main event of the 2023 Saemangeum World Scouting Jamboree, would be held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 11th. More than an hour later, Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Park Bo-gyun held a press conference at the jamboree’s press center to make it official.
Jeonju World Cup Stadium is the home stadium of the K League’s Jeonbuk Hyundai. The team pays rent to the city of Jeonju. Jeonbuk was scheduled to play three home games against Incheon in a league match on June 6, a Korean Football Association (FA) Cup semifinal against Incheon on June 9, and a league match against Suwon Samsung on June 12. However, due to the K-pop concert, they had to change the venue or schedule. An official from Jeonbuk said, “We’ve been talking about it since the afternoon of the 5th. The final decision was made at 2pm on the 6th. We couldn’t play our home games due to the K-pop concert. We have to talk to our opponents, the KFA, and the Korea Football Association.”
The cost to the club is enormous. Rescheduling can affect a team’s performance. A change of venue would mean that home fans would have to give up their one-sided support. Not only do they have to give up gate receipts, but they also have to refund season ticket holders for canceled home games. The same goes for the away team, Incheon. Incheon had set up a base camp in the previous week for the two-game series. However, this changed their plans. The team rescheduled and returned to Incheon on the 7th. They also canceled the accommodation they had booked for their stay with a penalty.
Jeonbuk coach Dan Petrescu said, “This is something I’ve never experienced in my life. I don’t understand it at all. It will have a huge impact on our team. Especially in our home stadium, Jeonju Castle, where our fans cheer and support us as the 12th player. It’s a double blow.” But both teams have to deal with it. They are wary of spoiling the atmosphere of the national event.
The hardest hit are soccer fans. They are lamenting the bitter reality online and offline. Some fans even canceled their vacations to attend. Jeonbuk fans even hung up protest signs that read, “Spoil the jamboree, spoil Jeonbuk!” and “Football kicked out of a dead jamboree. To add insult to injury, all of this was done without considering the soccer fans.스포츠토토
The situation became more complicated. When Typhoon Kanun was predicted to make landfall on the Korean Peninsula, the jamboree organizers decided to leave the grounds. The K-pop concert is also reportedly under consideration to be moved to the Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul. An official from the Football Association said, “On the morning of the 6th, we sent a ‘postponement’ letter to Jeonbuk and Incheon. The venue for the K-pop concert may change, so we’re keeping an eye on that as well.” Regardless of how the situation is organized, the bitter reality is that everyone has been victimized.