Racist players don’t deserve to play for the national team.
The recent racism controversy involving Ulsan Hyundai has shaken up the soccer world. It involves Park Yong-woo, Jung Seung-hyun, Lee Myung-jae, Lee Kyu-sung, and the team manager, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
On the 11th, Ulsan players continued to comment on Lee Myung-jae’s social media. First, Lee Kyu-sung wrote to Lee Myung-jae, “Southeast Asian quota is reliable,” and then Jung Seung-hyun replied, “It’s amazing.” Lee then wrote back, “You’re the reason for Asia Quarter,” and Park Yong-woo escalated the issue by referring to him by his real name, saying, “Sasalak form is crazy.” In addition, the team manager wrote “Sasalak Super Tackle” to show how they viewed the Asia Quarter players.
Sasalak is a Thai player who previously played for Jeonbuk Hyundai. Ulsan players compared the dark-skinned Lee Myung-jae to Sasalak, which could be taken 토토사이트 as racism. This led to criticism and condemnation from fans, and eventually the players, team manager, and Ulsan issued an official apology. Sasalak’s former team, Jeonbuk, even posted the slogan “NO ROOM FOR RACISM” on social media.
The problem is that the racist posts by Ulsan players went beyond South Korea to Sasalak’s home country of Thailand. The Thai national soccer team, as well as Sasalak himself, took to social media to express their disappointment after learning of the incident. Sasalak, who became the biggest victim of the incident, even used the hashtag Jeonbuk on social media and posted slogans against racism.
The KFA and Ulsan are discussing disciplinary action, which is expected to be finalized soon. For now, it’s a clear move to punish the organization without hiding or avoiding the issue.
However, it’s not just about punishment for the league and Ulsan. Two of Ulsan’s players, Park Yong-woo and Jeong Seung-hyun, have been named to the South Korean national team’s call-up list for the upcoming A match in June. Park Yong-woo will be making his first national team start, while Jeong Seung-hyun will be pulling on the national colors for the first time in a long time as a substitute. Of course, that was when things were going well. The situation is different now.
The KFA is aware of the situation and will review the statement of explanation that the federation has requested from Ulsan. National team coach Jürgen Klinsmann is also aware of the situation, so it will be interesting to see what he decides.
In the case of Park Yong-woo, who used Sasalak’s real name, a replacement is not out of the question. His behavior was unbecoming of a national team player and there is no place for racism in the national team. Of course, the wishes of the federation and Klinsmann are paramount, but if Park remains in the squad, the controversy could escalate.
Jung Seung-hyun is a bit more ambiguous. Unlike the other players, he didn’t directly post a racist comment, just a “wow”. However, he should be criticized for staying within the context and not making it awkward. If he realized it was a problem, he should have corrected it.
There is no such thing as embarrassment. Recently, Vinicius Junior’s racism in Spain has saddened the soccer world. Even Lee Kang-in was not immune from racism, with Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre calling him a “chino” (a derogatory term for Asians in Europe and South America), but in South Korea, he caused such a problem by referring to a Thai player’s real name. It couldn’t have been more embarrassing and humiliating.
When it comes to something as sensitive as racism, you can’t be too careful. There should be a firm disciplinary action to prevent this from happening again. Those responsible for this embarrassing and humiliating day for Korean soccer need to be held accountable.