Hiddink and the 2002 team to reunite for 'Football Week'
To mark the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, the Korea Football Association plans to hold a commemorative Football Week from June 1 to 6 with key figures from the 2002 national team, the only Korean squad ever to reach a World Cup semifinal, taking part in the event.
"As part of the 20th anniversary of the Korea-Japan World Cup, Football Week is tentatively planned from June 1 to 6," the KFA announced Tuesday.
In 2002, Korea co-hosted the World Cup with Japan, reaching the semifinals for the first time ever. It remains the only time Korea has made it out of the group stage.
Korea was able to achieve the historic feat under the leadership of head coach Guus Hiddink. Korea finished fourth, after losing to Germany 1-0 in the semifinals and to Turkey 3-2 in the third-place playoff.
During Football Week, the KFA will hold a variety of events at the northern plaza of the Seoul World Cup Stadium, the adjacent practice field and the football theme park.
Football Week will include events for children and teenagers, demonstrations of the KFA U-12 training program "Golden Age," and a conference to analyze domestic and foreign football tactics and technical information.
Football Week will be held during the international fixtures window, when Korea is scheduled to play at least two friendly matches on June 2 and 6 ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. FIFA No. 1 and 2002 World Cup champions Brazil could potentially be one of Korea's opponents.
Hiddink will also visit Korea, alongside key members of his 2002 squad. The KFA announced the 2002 squad will give a talk, participate in a football clinic and join in an official luncheon to celebrate the anniversary.
There will also be 2002 World Cup memorabilia on sale and a Korea-Japan World Cup photo exhibition.
"It will be an event to see where Korean football stands today, celebrating the achievements of the 2002 World Cup and look at how Korean football has developed and its future," a KFA official said.
"We will continue to celebrate Football Week as an annual event."
The 2022 Qatar World Cup will kick off on Nov. 21 in Doha. Korea landed in Group H in the draw for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, leaving the Taeguk Warriors with some serious competition in the form of Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana.
Korea's first game against Uruguay is on Nov. 24. Korea will then face Ghana on Nov. 28, before once again rounding out the group stage with a game against Portugal on Dec. 2.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]