South Korea’s History with the World Cup

World Cup

Credit: Fauzan Saari – free to use under the Unsplash license

Throughout history no sport has touched as many people or gained the international acclaim that football enjoys in the 21st century. Over 3 billion people from all around the world stay glued to their television screens whenever their country’s national team or their favorite club competes at a high-end event. And what event is more high-end than the FIFA World Cup?

Played every 4 years, the World Cup might just be one of the biggest, if not the biggest sporting event in the world. People from all over the world travel to the location of the tournament in order to cheer on and support their nation’s football players. This rule applies to South Korea, just as much as any country.

Football in South Korea

Apart from baseball, football is unrivaled in South Korea in terms of popularity. If we were to take a look at some surveys and statistics, we would find that football just narrowly beats out baseball, with just over 22% of South Korean sports fans naming it as their favorite sport (compare to the over 20% who named baseball).

The game also enjoys heavy play on betting sites. In South Korea online sports betting is legal and regulated. This means that bettors can freely place wagers on their favorite clubs or sports from the comfort of their home. When it comes to online betting sites like Dafabet (다 파벳) have noticed that football gets the largest amount of bets out of any other sport covered on their website.

The South Korean national football team is administered by the Korea Football Association, which is the highest regulating body in South Korean football. The team has, in the past century, emerged as one of the powerhouses of Asian football, qualifying for 11 World Cups (including the upcoming Qatar World Cup 2022). They are one of the top ranking and most successful teams in Asia in 2022.

History at the World Cup

South Korea’s debut at the FIFA World Cup came in 1954 Switzerland World Cup. The team was the only Asian team at that tournament, and the second Asian team to qualify for the World Cup (the first being Indonesia). Unfortunately, the team’s debut was not spectacular. They played two games, against Hungary and Turkey. Both games ended in devastating defeats, with scores of 9 – 0 and 7 – 0 respectively, and the Korean goalie Hong Deok-young is to this day the known as the goalkeeper that conceded the most goals in the history of the World Cup.

Following their debut, the South Korean national team did not have much luck at the World Cup until its 2002 iteration, which was held in South Korea and Japan, where they defeated both the Polish and the Portuguese national teams, and tied against the United States. The South Korean team came out at 4th place, surpassed only by Turkey, Germany and Brazil.

Since then it has been a mixed bag for the country’s team. They have achieved some truly great victories, but also experienced some devastating losses. In 2018, at the World Cup held in Russia, the South Korean national team qualified and managed to beat Germany. However, they lost two matches against Sweden and Mexico.

The question on everyone’s mind right now though, is what are South Korea’s chances and hopes for the 2022 World Cup Qatar?

South Korea’s Hopes at the 2022 World Cup

The South Korean team is among the 30 teams that have qualified for the 2022 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Qatar in November of this year. In order to qualify, South Korea had to defeat Syria, which they accomplished handily on February 1, 2022. The match ended with a score of 2 – 0. But what are South Korea’s hopes for the World Cup?

Well, naturally, it is the hope of any South Korean football fan that the national team will go to the top and bring home the trophy. But there is a certain question of probability here. When compared to the other qualified teams, the South Korean national team is not ranked particularly high, nor incredibly low.

According to the official world rankings by FIFA, the Korean team is 28th in the world. A respectable position in its own right. However, when going against some of the top ranking teams like Brazil, Argentina, Belgium and France, the team is at a clear disadvantage.

In the first stage of the tournament, South Korea will be going against Ghana, Uruguay and Portugal. The Portuguese are the odds-on favorite to win this set. However, many South Korean fans are hoping for a return to the 2002 display, which saw South Korea perform way above its ballpark in the World Cup.


Whatever the case may be, the World Cup is soon upon us, and expectations are high. Whether the bad luck streak of the South Korean team is broken or continues remains to be seen.

By Admin

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