[Letters] Give football team a break

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[Letters] Give football team a break

The football team of South Korea was defeated by China’s team on Feb. 10. Korean fans were disappointed and even infuriated by the game. There are apparently two reasons for this: One is that a legendary invincible 31-year-old record was broken. The other is the Korean team seemed lackluster. As a result, many asked for the resignation of Huh Jung-moo, the coach of the Korean national football team. I think that it is wrong to ask the manager to step down for this miserable defeat.

Although the defeat by China was shocking and some even felt humiliated, the 31-year-old record was destined to be broken someday. Therefore, a coach was doomed to take the blame. Unfortunately, Coach Huh was the one to ruin the glorious record.

The 2010 World Cup competition is just four months away. Many are rightly worried about the defeat because China’s national football team is allegedly not strong. Nevertheless, the demand for the resignation of Huh is too far.

Everybody makes mistakes and can learn from their failures. Even though constructive worrying and watchdog comments may motivate the Korean national team not to be complacent, too much negative criticism would discourage them.

If the resignation of the coach perches on a single game, who can be the manager? Then the coach would be paranoid, and have to win every single game, which is impossible. In the end, the coach would hardly be leading the team. Huh successfully has led the team, clinching qualification for the World Cup as Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat did.

Huh will rearrange and retrain the team. He announced at a press conference that he recognizes that he picked inappropriate players and the wrong strategies.

No coach wants to weaken a team. They know they have to win because good records give them the opportunity to lead the team longer, to get better remuneration and fame.

Some think that Huh has tainted Korean football history. It is a shame not to preserve a record. But those who think it is solely Huh’s fault may be underestimating China. China has been making a lot of efforts to revamp their team. China became or will become the rival of the Korean national team just as Japan did.

Under this situation, Koreans need to ask not what the Korean football team can do for Korean people, but what Korean people can do for the Korean football team. What is important is not winning the battle, but winning the war.

Lee Yun-soo, Graduate School of Public

Administration, Seoul National University
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