K-League team ready for SeoulAs the Anyang LG Cheetahs get ready to make the move to Seoul, the soccer team’s general manager, Han Woong-soo, is excited about the opportunity to turn the franchise into a favorite of Seoulites, who currently don’t have a home team in the Korean League.
“This is not just a change of a home town. We view this move along the lines of creating a totally new team,” says the manager.
On March 11, the K-League officially sanctioned the Cheetahs’ move, and the team will play as a Seoul team starting this season. The Cheetahs will change their name to FC Seoul.
Mr. Han promised to turn the team into a contender and has set a goal of getting the top record in the league and drawing the most fans to the team’s games.
The manager also said he would recruit top international talent and already has someone in mind.
“We are well aware that we need a big financial package to get foreign star players, but considering the positive effects from such a signing, we are fully prepared and committed to do such a thing.” Mr. Han said the player has high name recognition.
He was apologetic to Anyang fans but stressed that the move would benefit the K-League overall.
“We sincerely hope that our Anyang fans will understand our decision and that they will keep giving us their support despite our playing in Seoul,” says the manager.
The move would increase the use of the Sangam World Cup Stadium, which has been used only for international matches so far.
One official at the Korea Football Organization said the move is designed to spark more interest among companies in the K-League. “In the end, when the Cheetahs have successfully established themselves in Seoul, we hope that other companies will follow suit and create other teams,” says the official.
The K-League’s new season will start April 3, with 18 scheduled home games for FC Seoul.
Together with international matches for the 2006 Germany World Cup qualifying rounds and the Athens Olympic Games qualifying rounds, a total of 30 soccer matches will be held in the World Cup Stadium this year.
Last year, there were only 13 soccer games in the stadium, which cost 206 billion won to build.
by Jeong Young-jae