Korea vs Britain Olympic Football Match, Netizen Reactions

The Korean football team reacts to the victory at their match against Britain during 2012 London Olympics.
Korea beat Britain in the quarter-final football match at the London 2012 Olympics, winning entry into the semi-finals for the first time in the team’s history. The match had been at the centre of a lot of attention nationwide along with some high expectations. British football players are among the best known in Korea, which heightened the interest in the match. Even though the match was aired live at 3.30 am Korean time, many football fans pulled an allnighter to cheer for their team. This passion is reflected in the following responses gathered from several articles written and commented on before and after the match.

Netizen responses before the match, from various related news articles:

Comments from Money Today:

Team Korea led by Hong Myung-Bo wishes for the London Dream, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

백다연:

Manager Hong says ‘I carry a knife in my heart. It’s not for hurting someone else, but for killing myself if you guys (the players) are in danger of getting hurt. So, you guys should die for the team. And I will die for you.’ Wow so cool.. That gave me goosebumps…..

김현성:

Your efforts are beautiful. Go Korean football!!

이창현:

It’ll be little more than break-even for Britain if they win, but it’ll be an extraordinary thing if we win. If they do, our hearts will be lighter. And Hong Myung-Bo’s team is especially strong against strong teams. Park Chu-Young realizes his potential at every even-numbered match. [The stadium for the match is] not a home-ground for England but one for Wales. There’ll be no one who will resent us losing. Japan is in the semi-final? ke ke They’re just lucky. They’ll be busted by Brazil anyway. If we play against Japan we will win. Cheers~~

Comments from Dailian:

‘Team GB’s fitness is poor’ – Team Korea led by Hong Myung-Bo has hopes among fear

장명균:

British boys, we have to go get the monkeys [Japan] so don’t block our way

남종희:

I imagine that Ji-Sung and Giggs might have talked to each other on the phone.. /Giggs: Park! I’m playing against your country. It’s a shame you won’t be there. /Ji-Sung: ke ke /Giggs: Do your old team mates run around all day, like you do? /Ji-Sung: More than I do. /Giggs: ………

정대현:

I feel positive for some reason… I believe in you, Korean warriors~

이정현:

A match between England’s poor fitness and Korea’s poor decision making

Comments from Sports Chosun:

Fateful quarter-final, watch Koo Ja-Cheol carefully

배재준:

Weirdly enough, I don’t feel we are going to lose… Before the previous Korea vs. Italy match…I also didn’t feel we were going to lose at all… and I have a similar feeling now..

김지호:

It’s time you scored, Koopard. [Koopard is a nickname for Koo Ja-Cheol, made by combining his family name Koo with ‘-pard’ from Frank Lampard.]

이선민:

Ah I sincerely hope we can win this time and never let the Brits look down on us.. Not only at the Olympic games this year but usually those bastards would ignore Korea in their media reports and rate highly of the island nation [= Japan] next to Korea, even though we played well and had good results. I really wish that Korea would beat Britain at the football match later at dawn so they can’t look down on us. Go Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

정병건:

The biggest problem is the exemption from the military conscription at stake. Run for your life ke ke [Korean sports players are allowed to be exempt from the military if they win medals.]

김종안:

It’s natural to wish that we could win the gold medal.. but I personally feel that Britain is going to beat us. Judging objectively we are likely to lose against Brazil, and then play against the Japs who failed to enter the finals, for the third place. Anyways, I send hwaitings to the Korean players. They’ve played well so far and I sincerely believe they will do well in the future.^^

Comments from The Daily Sports:

Overseas gamblers bet that ‘Korea will lose to Britain in football, while Japan enters the semi-final’

김태욱:

Gamblers say: Korea will lose to Mexico – [The actual result is] a tie. /Gamblers: Korea will lose to Switzerland – We won. /Gamblers: Korea will beat Gabon – a tie. /Gamblers: Korea will lose to Britain ……. /This makes me feel positive.

황윤성:

The German octopus would be better at guessing than you guys.

이성철:

Gamblers haven’t been so good at guessing the results at the London Olympics.

이현수:

Honestly, Japan has such favourable opponents, while we have Britain and Brazil…

김범석:

Overseas gamblers after the match say, ‘never knew Giggs’ legs would shake’…

김도선:

I hear them losing money….

Netizen responses after the match, from various related news articles:

Comments from My Daily:

Hong Myung-Bo’s Team worth 34.5 billion Won beat Team GB who are worth 132.5 billion Won

유명훈:

By the way, we should honestly look back on ourselves;; When the players make just one mistake we tend to speak ill of them, saying ‘do without Baek Sung-Dong, get Park Chu-Young out of the team, and Kim Bo-Kyung’s fame is nothing.’ Honestly speaking, wouldn’t Hong Myung-Bo be aware of things that we think? But he still doesn’t keep them out, so there should be a reason why. Now the players that you people have been blaming went all the way up to the semi-finals and we realize how able manager Hong is, so let’s just cheer them. And let’s not show off our volatile temper no matter how bad they play.

김창휘:

When the extended latter half was over the players lied down, and all the standby players came to massage their legs, caring for their team mates. What’s the use of high individual pay scale, without a team-playing spirit and sacrifice for their team mates?

Comments from The Daily Sports:

Even the BBC is in love with Ki Sung-Yueng with his impeccable performance at the football match with Britain

이준태:

Ki has great techniques, but what’s even more top-notch is his will-power and ambition ke ke ke ke

김병주:

Honestly, my mouth opens wide involuntarily while I’m watching Ki playing..

Comments from The Daily Sports:

Hong Myung-Bo’s team shed tears of joy, after entry to semi-finals is confirmed

김윤영:

Today we saw the same smile manager Hong had 10 years ago.

김현우:

They [the Britain team] pretend to be cool about it but must be boiling inside. If they really didn’t expect anything then what was that 70 thousand strong bubbling crowd in the stadium? ke ke

정민수:

It was a match worth an allnighter.

이상섭:

Personal income fluctuates from thousands of millions to billions [of Korean won], depending on whether the players win medals or not. There’s no guarantee that this kind of chance will come again, so I hope that all the players do well, so that they get exempted of the military service and move to good football clubs, giving more delight to the Korean people.

김수현:

When we finally won did anyone see the Korean reporter crying his eyes out? /Anyone saw Ki Sung-Yueng cry? /I almost cried along with them ㅠㅠ Well done, so proud of you.

Comments from Maeil Business:

‘Psycho killer’ Ji Dong-Won? Foreign media pours out praise

조치연:

What’s awesome is the row of 18 matches with no losses! Let’s make it just up to 20!!

성보민:

Managers of the opponent teams, please don’t say you don’t know the Korean team well. If that continues, we’ll just keep winning.

천성민:

Britain seemed to get their power up with 6 gold medals won in a day. But it rested down in peace in Cardiff, dawn of 5th, August, due to strong will-power of Korean players and sincere cheers of Korean people, which cannot be heard with ears but with hearts.

조재민:

While Britain was preparing for the match with Brazil we beat them. Now it’s time to destroy Japan who is preparing for the match with Brazil. Let’s beat Brazil and then Japan!

임가연:

It’s a shame only a few people are getting the spotlight. They’ve done well but the defenders were good, too ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

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  • somesojuslammer

    Most of the best British players didn’t even play due to the coaches being niggers over Euro 2012. *yawn*

    • Chucky3176

      Typical excuses made. And you think Korea had their best players? This was the Under 23 teams from both sides. The difference is the British players get a lot of money to play in the overrated Premier League while most of the Korean players get paid next to nothing. The Brits should have done a lot better since they treated the Korean team as virtual walk overs and were already looking to Brazil game. The Brit fans were even predicting 5-0 victory. Boy did they get thorough lesson on how not to underestimate their opponents.

      • SlasherX

        Korea were the better team so they won. Simple as that.
        The reaction in the British press is that Korea deserved to win. Ask a British person in the street and it is likely they will say the same thing.

        And this is where I take issue with you Chucky. I was born, raised and continue to live in the UK. I know exactly how the press and indeed the people are here. People were not underestimating the Korean team at all. I know this plays into your assertion that Western powers are arrogant and overconfident. And there are times when this is certainly true. But in this case, you are completely wrong. There was no such statement of arrogance.

        Britain is famous for it’s sense of self-deprecation. It is something that permeates the culture, especially when it comes to sport. It has been like that since I can remember looking at the British sports news since I was a kid. It is something the UK is famous for. Whenever there is a major sporting event there is a general air that Britain will probably fail and if they do then most people just laugh about it and seem to expect it.
        You need only look at this story on the Daily Mail website. This is the most nationalistic newspaper in the country. But look at the user comments. Who are people blaming? They are blaming the over payed and overprivileged British footballers. Someone even jokes that losing on penalties is a tradition.

        So please don’t paint Britain as arrogant and overconfident when it came to this event. You are grossly misrepresenting the British people and directly contradicting what I know to be true about British culture and national habits from a lifetime of experience. And once again well done Korea. The best team certainly won on the day!

        • lavista4u

          Very well said. I know British fans themselves say, GB team is over rated and with good media publicity, they make a lot of money from the clubs due to love of football in Britain.

          I have not come across a single Britain who says there team is the best. They know where they stand. Most British say Spain is the best team in Europe right now

        • Chucky3176

          I am not trying to paint the Brits as anything other then the facts. The facts were these:

          1) The British coach was asked by Korean reporters, who in the Korean team do you think does team Britain need to watch out for? The answer? I don’t know anything about the Korean team, but I know they’re good team. This tells me only one thing. The British were so confident of the victory, they didn’t even bother sending out their scouts and/or, they were so confident that they would win, they didn’t think there were any good Korean players to worry about.

          2) Before the game, I was curious what the British readers thought about the upcoming game, so I had the chance to read some of the comments. And the overall feeling that I got was that they were pretty confident that they can just show up and win blindfolded. And some of the of the commentators were even talking about the Brazil game, more then the Korean game. One commentator said they would win 5-0. Another commentator said there’s no way Britain lose this game with players from famous EPL teams.

          3) After the game, I did read the Daily mail comments that you mention above. And like you said, most of them were commenting about the disgust they felt with their team losing to a weak team, rather than losing to a better team. There were a very few comments to remind everyone that the better team won, but those were the few and the exception. The overwhelming feelings were of disgust and anger that their team lost to such a team. One commentator even asked do they even have football pitches in Korea? Another commentator even mentioned he didn’t even know Korea played football. I definitely think the reactions would have been different if the Brits lost to Germany or Brazil or some other “worthy” team.

          4) Then you had this.

          http://sports.chosun.com/news/ntype3.htm?id=201208060100050650004012&ServiceDate=20120805

          • Chucky3176

            Another interesting and intriguing comments that I read, are how happy the Scottish were with the English defeat. Even though they’re supposed to be on the same side. I thought that was pretty interesting too.

          • Patrick

            Overall it was a sloppy game by both sides. I do admire Korea’s first goal. That shot is usually twenty to thirty feet over the goal and into the stands. One of the nicest goals I’ve ever seen in a Korean game over the last 10 years. As for England, after missing the second penalty, very few people would really argue that they deserved to go through. Still, it was a pretty even game and when a team does squeak through in a tightly contested penalty shootout I would certainly not call it a “thorough lesson” being learned. I’d call that more the flip of a coin. Should be a great game against Brazil tonight. Personally I’d love to see Korea play Japan in the final just to see them get silver.

          • mr. wiener

            Chucky , most Scots love the English nearly as much as you love the Japanese and for similar historical reasons.

          • Boris

            British coach was who he would look out for and he said he doesn’t know but knows they are a good team and you take that as “confident of the victory”? No one expected the GB team to win or do well. If you had any idea about the UK you would know this instead of going off on your anti-western crap.

            Your second point is even more idiotic than the first I have to assume you do not follow sports. Fans always like to talk ahead. Especially if there is a chance of that. It is not like Korea went on to smash Team GB 5-0 now, is it?

            The 3rd point, did you even see the game? Korea are a good side, but England are better. But this isn’t an English side, it is a group of Welsh and English side, under 23s who have never played together before this tournament unlike the Korean U-23s who have played together. It is a team sport, where a team does better than just one individual.

            And 4 is redundant.

        • http://www.koreabang.com James

          Well said SlasherX!

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    I cant contain myself when the grueling match against GB, goinging into extra time, wound up victory for South Korea in a hand wringing 5-4 penalty shootout.

    This gives a real morale booster to Koreans amid a prolonged economic slump.
    I hope another euphoric moment will come from the game against the football favorite Brazil.

  • 바나나

    T-ara will visit their beds if they win the gold medal

  • Yorgo

    Wow. 1-1 and decided by penalty kicks. Soccer really sucks.

    • Attaboy

      agree. watching a flock of birds is more entertaining.

  • asswiper

    David Beckham would have got the penalty

    thats all im saying

  • SlasherX

    Well I can tell you that as a foreigner looking into the UK you are hugely mistaken and misrepresenting the general feeling of the people. There has been so much coverage before and after the game and I can assure you that it was not overly arrogant at all. I saw so much coverage that did nothing but commend the Korean team. People know Korea were the better team and admit it. The people who don’t are just wrong and people know that.
    Duting the World Cup there was lots of coverage in the UK about the Korean team. The people who say stupid things now like Korea not having football pitches are ignorant idiots. They can not be taken for the British people as a whole. I know the UK press well and the general feeling of thr people. As an outsider looking in ypu are cherry picking the worst things to represent the UK as arrogant when the opposite is true bsed on the actual experience of living in this country.

    And as for the racist motion made by that idiot I’m sure I speak for all of the UK when I say I am deeply ashamed of his behaviour. Remember the racist woman on the train in London video that was around? I was also deeply ashamed of that and glad when the woman was punished. But in a country of millions of people of course there are going to be racist idiots. But at least the UK law makes an effort to punish these people and show that racism is not acceptable. And on the flip side, what do you think about the Korean fans comments of the Japanese as monkeys?

    As for Scotland and England, come on. Both countries had centuries of warfare, blood shed and bad feeling before the union was forged. Of course there is always a friction between the two countries. Imagine if Korea and Japan formed a union. Do you think these hard feelings would magically disappear?

    • Chucky3176

      Just two comments. So you’re saying the British didn’t think they would beat Korea easily? I’ll tell you why I find that hard to believe. It’s not just the impression I got from reading all the netizen comments. It’s how Korean players are treated in the EPL too. Whenever there are rumors of Korean players being bought for EPL teams, the first things that are always mentioned are they are “shirt sellers”. Even Park Ji Sung when he first started for Manchester had to face this prejudice. He proved himself on and off the field, but still did not escape being the first one to be target of wrath when the team didn’t perform well. Even after seven years of service with the United, the talk of he being good enough to play for the United never really died down completely. And what about Park Ju Young? The Arsenal fans have completely wrote him off, and it’s so obvious the team bought him to become their shirt seller. Arsenal gave him a grand total of 7 minutes all of last year on the pitch to prove he belongs on the pitch with the team. Then the Arsenal fans and the press complain that Park Ju Young was the worst signing of history of the team. I’m not saying that Korean players are fantastic out of this world players. All I’m saying is that I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t get the chance to play, then it’s impossible to prove you belong with the team. The Park fiasco has made the Korean players who want to play in the Europe, with a brand new attitude. Their focus now is to play for teams (even if they’re not the first division teams) that will give them a fair shot at playing and proving themselves good enough, instead of being sat down as mascot shirt sellers.

      As for Korean netizens calling Japanese monkies, you have to realize the ongoing on-line wars between Japan-Korea-China. All three country netizens throw around slurs at each other. Koreans call Japanese monkies, Japanese in turn call the Koreans “chon”. It’s par for the course, because it happens everyday and so often, there are not many people in the three countries to get offended by the name callings. Instead, it’s become endearing in a joking way. But that does not mean people throw around ethnic slurs in the real lives. The hatred is for the unknown impersonal blob of the opposing peoples online. It rarely goes beyond that. I would start to get worried if the name callings get spilled over to the real world. For example, Taiwan company Hon Hai’s Terry Guo calling Koreans, “gooks who stab people’s backs” comment.. now that’s offensive because he has broken the unwritten rule of personalizing an impersonal on-line battle, and applied it to the real world.

      • Peter

        Why do you care what people thousands of miles away from you may feel about you as a Korean? I think this is all about you, and your own self worth.

        As you say yourself, people make flippant remarks online all the time. But to know the person, you would just take those remarks as they we’re written, as hot air. They do not denote the persons true feelings and reasoning.

        Yet you search for the worst examples, slurs against your ‘motherland’ and twist them to vent your anger at what you deep down, but wont admit, to be your own inferiority and weakness.

        Open your eyes.

  • SlasherX

    I totally agree with you about the shirt seller phenomena in the Premier Leaugue. It is a problem and has been criticized before on several occassions. However this is something that is not specific to Korean players. It happens a lot and is in no way an indication of the British view of Korean football. Again, if anything the opposite is true. There is now a much higher visabilty of Korean players in the UK and people now have a much higher estimation of Korean football as a whole. Living in the UK it just boggles my mind for you to say these things. I have seen nothing but a rising respect and visibality of Korean football over the years in the UK.
    I suspect nothing I say will convince you otherwise as you seem to be convinced that the UK looks down on Korean football. I’m glad I know this isn’t true and I’m glad to see a respect for Korean football in the UK. I, and I’m sure most UK citizens wish Korea good luck.

    And if what you say is true about Korea and Japan, then I hope you can understand there is something similar between Scotland and England. There is some bad blood but the general rivalry is good natured. However, the one thing that seems to bind them is the acceptance that most international football matches wil be lost!

  • Paul M

    I was actually at the Mexico – Korea match *brag brag* and I must admit I was worried about Korea’s prospects at first. However Mexico were played off the park and in the second half the Mexican fans had quietened down and weren’t as exuberant as they were in the first half. How Korea didn’t score in that match is a mystery. I’m quite confident another medal will be coming their way. On the other hand I think Korean fans need to come up with some more chants as “Dae Han Min Gook” repeated over and over for 90 minutes is a bit dull.

    • Reiss

      Mexico is the most dull team between in the semi-finals. Korea, though a little shaky on the group stage, got their big scalp beating ‘Team GB’, Japan outplayed Spain and crushed Egypt, Brazil IS Brazil and that’s the squad for 2014 WC, Mexico… somehow managed to beat Senegal due to African team defensive blunders. Don’t get mad at Korean fans. Even though Koreans could mobilise for big football tournaments the football fans culture is almost non existent in Korea itself aside from few places (Suwon, Seoul).

      • Paul M

        Being a regular spectator at K-league matches I have to say that Suwon has the best fans (yeah, suck on that Seoul FC). Each K-league team seems to have an organised group of fans who lead the cheering and chanting and they all have a good variety of songs and chants. With Koreans being ultra passionate about the national team I would have thought they would have done the same there.

        Going back to the Mexico game, there were a few Swiss fans (waiting for the next game against Gabon), quite a large number of Mexican fans as well as local neutral spectators ,and the “Dae Han Min Gook” ad-nauseum was starting to have the vuvuzela effect on them. Unfortunately some of the locals then started to ridicule the Korean fans and their monotonous chanting. I tried my best by chanting individual player’s names but it didn’t get a reaction, even when I stood up and brandished my K-league team scarf.

  • Germandude

    Chucky3176 , I think you are taking things a bit too serious.

    1. One idiot making that stupid gesture in your link under “4)” shouldn’t be assumed to be representing the normal belief/behaviour of a society.

    2. My wife is Asian and we lived and travelled through whole over Europe, mainly my home country, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Spain and UK and nowhere did she feel not welcome or mistreated. Sometimes, she might even be treated too nice, out of curiosity because she is speaking several languages pretty well and people were surprised about that.

    3. If you think that soccer fans represent a society, you are right in the sense of that all parts of society gather together to watch a game in a stadium or pub. These guys are usually also pretty tough when it comes to insults on players, coaches, the referee (!) and so on. However, they do that with all players, from their own team and opponent team, no matter if they are from Europe, Asia, Africa or the moon.

    4. I don’t know much about Park Ji Sung as I am not following the Premier League. However, my favorite team in Germany, Dortmund, had a player from Japan, Shinji Kagawa, who just joined Manchester United this summer. This guy came from nowhere. I mean, he came from the J-league for a cheap price and nobody knew him. Fans actually wondered why the team buy such a player. They assumed it was for selling shirts and that’s it. However, within 2 months, this guy became the fan favorite, due to spectacular style, important goals and smart interviews. Think of it: people are afraid or ignorant towards the unknwon. Kagawa however quickly acclimatized himself in Germany and knew how to play the media to communicate with the people. Japanese flags, banners in Japanese were common to see in the Stadium of Dortmund. When Kagawa mentioned that he will shoot 2 goals in tomorrow’s derby, fans thought that he is starting to become snobbish, or getting too confident. Well, the guy delivered the next day, scored twice and was carried home on the arms of the fans at night. Everytime he was substituted, his name was sung for 30 seconds. Everytime he scored, people got crazy. He is a legend eventhough he just played in Dortmund for 2 years.
    I don’t know about Park Ji Sung, but if he is a defender, it will be pretty much tougher for him to be recognized for great performances. It’s goals that count. Plus, maybe he is a bit more shy than Kagawa and so, fans can’t really identify with him.

    5. The only stupid comment in the Dortmund stadium that I heard towards Asians was in regard towards my Chinese wife, when a Dortmund fan came up with “Look at that beauty. She is so lucky, black and yellow by nature” (referring to black hair, yellow skin, which are the team colours of Borussia Dortmund).

    6. In Europe, as well as in the US or Asia, you always have a couple of racist idiots. Don’t let them be the ones determine your own views towards others. Otherwise they succeed.

  • TheNoob

    Looks like Japan will play against Korea now….for the bronze. My pick would be Japan beats Korea 3 – 1 Yours??

  • BK

    I never understood the Park Ji Sung chant. Why would fans of the team he actually plays on chant that garbage?

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