The East Asian nation struggled in the early rounds, finding themselves competing for the Men’s Quaich on the final weekend. They defeated Slovenia to earn a spot in the final, but lost in sudden death penalties to the Czech Republic. South Korea finishing the week in 42nd place overall.
This year’s squad was joined by their 2015 team guide, Michiel Slot. Michiel explained, “I made such a good connection with them and the manager Chang-Yong that I was invited to be the coach for Glasgow.” Slot even traveled to South Korea two months before the tournament to help prepare the team.
The players learned more than football skills from Slot and the other team organizers. Number 10, Chan-Wun Park shared: “The most important thing I learned was teamwork. Teamwork let me learn and develop myself, let me work out my problems with my teammates on the pitch and avoid conflict.”
“Football is a good method to improve people’s lives and I strongly believe that,” added team manager Hwa-Sun Lee. “I think football improves the players’ physical and mental situation and this can lead to improvements in the community.”
Team South Korea 2016 (Men’s)
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South Korea’s men’s team are selected from a programme that encourages homeless people to regularly exercise and therefore lead a healthy lifestyle. The programme seeks to raise awareness about homelessness and shows people in Korea that homeless people can play football, and consequently work and live just like any other person.
Among the most important goals for the Big Issue Korea is to help their players on their rehabilitation plan by providing them with opportunities to move into rental housing once the tournament is complete.