Some Korean footballers in Europe in action this midweek – here’s the listing, courtesy of Korean Footballers Abroad:
|Tuesday||2:45 PM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||@Sunderland||NBC Extra Time|
|Wednesday||2:45 PM||Kim Bo Kyung||Wigan||@Nottingham||None|
|Wednesday||3:00 PM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||Newcastle||NBC Extra Time|
|Wednesday||3:00 PM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||@West Brom||NBC Extra Time|
And the Tuesday Tavern Kickaround just around the corner…
We start the Kickaround with this slightly late news:
22-year-old midfielder Park Jun-hyung have signed with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal. pic.twitter.com/7CPlIAyOyI
— Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) February 4, 2015
Which means Park Jun-Hyung joins Suk Hyun-Jun in the Portugese Liga side Vitória de Setúbal. Kind of interesting as it’s yet another Korean pairing at a European club. Currently Ji Dong-Won & Hong Jeong-Ho are together at Augsburg, and there’s Koo Ja-Cheol & Park Joo-Ho at Mainz. Cha Bum-Keun commented in a documentary while visiting Park Joo-Ho at his hospital bedside (recovering from an injury that sidelined him in the run up to the World Cup) that it seems to be an advantage to have Koreans paired up – he was the lone Korean during his stints at Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen as a pioneering KPA legend in Europe.
According to this Naver article, he has been training abroad for quite some time, with spells at a Mainz’ affiliated youth club, training in Brazil and more recently at C.D. Pinhalnovense, a 3rd tier Portugese club. The 22 year old has been a defensive midfielder.
Kickaround now veers away from Korean football and into some football related news. The Washington Post this morning highlighted some of the backdrop to the tragedy last Sunday in which 20 football fans were killed during a Zamalek and ENPPI game. This only comes 3 years after 72 fans were killed in Port Said. Ultras have been some of the driving force behind the Egyptian revolutions of the past several years and the article titled, How Egyptian soccer fans became enemies of the state, details ultras continued political agitation now that Egypt has once again turned toward authoritarianism. Zamalek ultras, who recently have been targeted by Egyptian dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, have in turn accused Egyptian security forces of a planned massacre.
This past weekend I listened to NPR where the new film Timbuktu was in the spotlight. Religious extremists who had overtaken Mali’s historic city several years ago imposed draconian rules with penalty of death looming for infraction violaters, including prohibition on playing music and football. There was a moment in which the film maker described an poignant form of resistance to the occupiers: they still played football, but without an actual ball. They would pretend there was an imaginary ball, dribbling, turning, passing and scoring between two teams. Eventually the extremists were routed and driven out and normalcy has returned to the Malian city, where Muslims themselves resisted and drove out the extremists that hijacked their religion, culture and way of life.
Glancing over at BSK as I’m apt to do, Jinseok and Takeuchi has been keeping track of Lee Kang-In over at Valencia’s Infantil A youth squad. At 13, he is developing at an impressive rate. He was recently seen wearing the captain’s armband as part of Valencia’s 6-1 drubbing over Tavernes Blanques. In the video below from a few weeks ago, you can see Lee dribbling past Elche’s youth squad with impunity (see 0:35 for one goal and to 1:33 for an even more impressive run and eventual goal).