Sans yellow uniforms, Seongnam loses mojo

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Sans yellow uniforms, Seongnam loses mojo

In the end, Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma came close but couldn’t quite get it done in the K-League Championship. After an impressive run in the postseason and a solid performance against Jeonbuk in the first leg of the finals, which ended in a scoreless draw, Seongnam lost 3-1 in the second match over the weekend.

Coming so close to winning a league title only to be snuffed out in the final match can leave players and coaches wondering what they could have done differently. For Seongnam, some of that revolves around something that was out of their control: the color of their uniforms. Some coaches and players are a bit upset by a last-minute league decision to force the team to don white jerseys instead of the usual bright yellow ones for the final match.

“We were asked not to don our usual yellow jerseys, and that was a sign of what was to come, as things did not go our way,” said a Seongnam official.

The team received notice from league officials on Dec. 4 that it should use white jerseys for the second leg of the championship because it was difficult to tell Seongnam and Jeonbuk, whose players wear fluorescent green jerseys, apart during the first match of the finals. While the two colors are not all that difficult to distinguish in person, it can be hard for those watching the game on television.

Seongnam manager Shin Tae-yong was disappointed by the league’s decision. Seongnam had worn its distinctive yellow throughout its postseason run. Seongnam and the Chunnam Dragons are the only two teams in the K-League that wear yellow as their primary color. As such, they don’t have to wear white jerseys too often. “The color yellow runs through our veins,” Shin said. “It is Seongnam’s lucky color.”


By Jang Chi-hyeok [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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