Tottenham could be jetting off to Korea this summer
Tottenham Hotspur could be headed to Korea this summer, with local press reporting last week that the Premier League club is in talks with e-commerce company Coupang to arrange two exhibition games here.
According to a report initially published in Korea Economic Daily, Coupang, operator of streaming service Coupang Play, is negotiating with the London club to bring Son Heung-min and the rest of the Spurs squad to Korea during the summer break.
A spokesperson for Coupang refused to comment on the story on Monday and, as of press time, Tottenham representatives were unavailable for comment.
A potential Tottenham exhibition game in Korea has been rumored since Son first started to become a significant presence at the club in 2016 and 2017. Spurs have been to Asia a few times in recent years — to Malaysia in 2015 and to Singapore and China in 2019 — but have never been to Korea.
Playing in Korea would be big business for Spurs. Nielsen Fan Insights in 2020 found that Tottenham had roughly 11 million fans in Korea, making it the most popular Premier League team by far with 21.4 percent of the population aged between 16 and 69 at the time. Manchester United — who have played exhibition games here — came in a distant second with 6.1 percent.
According to reports, one of the possible fixtures proposed by Coupang wouldn't see Spurs take on a local team, but rather clash with Spanish La Liga club RCD Mallorca, who are presumably also being encouraged to visit Korea. That game would pitch Son against top prospect and fan favorite Lee Kang-in.
Even if it is true that Coupang is working to bring Spurs to Korea this summer, the plan could still be disrupted as the Covid-19 pandemic and Korea's strict quarantine and social distancing systems could make matches unfeasible.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]