The country waits with baited breath as the national team roster announcement looms in the horizon.

Korean national team
South Korean striker Lee Dong-guk (left) hits a shot against the Netherlands in the 1998 World Cup in France. – Korean Soccer Association (KFA)

On May 14, the Korean national soccer team (football) will be announced. The roster of players will then go on to compete in the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Korea’s participation in this year’s competition marks the 10th time that the country has qualified. Further, the first world cup they participated in was in the Switzerland World Cup in 1954, and the latest being in Brazil in 2014.

Additionally, according to Korea’s Soccer Association on May 8, a total of 144 players joined the national roster. Some of the most famed players include Hong Myung-bo (currently executive director of the association), Hwang Sun-hong (former coach of FC Seoul), and Lee Woon-jae (Suwon Samsung coach). Hong and Hwang joined the national team for four consecutive World Cups from 1990 in Italy to 2002. Likewise, Lee also competed in 1994, 2002, 2006, and 2010.

Last month, as the association continued to prepare for the upcoming games, there was speculation that a joint North-South Korean soccer team could be formed. More, with the recent success of the Inter-Korean summit where the two sides agreeing to jointly participate in sporting events, this possibility seems to hold credibility.

However, the possibility of a joint team took a hit after South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conducted a survey. The ministry asked 40 different sports federation about the possibility of creating joint Korean teams.

In response, only seven of them showed a level of positive interest. However, the soccer federation was not among them. One of the reasons cited by the organization included considering the players and teamwork.



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Translated by O.C