Soccer is a relatively weatherproof sport. Rain or shine, as long as the ball is rolling, the game is played. Fans know this better than anyone, and they don’t let bad weather stop them from heading to the stadium.
Such was the case for the Football Association of Korea (FA) Cup semi-final between Jeju United and Pohang Steelers, scheduled for 7.30pm on 9 September at Jeju World Cup Stadium. Despite the passing of Typhoon Kanun, fans of both teams gathered at the stadium early and cheered on the players as they warmed up on the field.
With only a light breeze blowing, it looked like the game would go ahead as normal.스포츠토토
However, the fans didn’t get the kick-off they wanted. “Due to a sudden change in the weather caused by a typhoon, the game could not be played, so after discussions with the match supervisor and tournament headquarters, we decided to postpone today’s game for everyone’s safety,” Jeju announced on social media at 7pm, 30 minutes before kick-off.
The decision was not made by the Jeju club. The decision to postpone the game was made in a letter sent by Jeju at 6.30pm to the Korea Football Association, Pohang and Jeju.
“We are requesting the cancellation and postponement of the match as there is a risk of safety accidents for players and spectators if the tournament goes ahead, and there is also a risk of promoting a lack of safety among the public, so please take active measures,” Jeju said in the letter.
In the end, the event was postponed as the competition supervisor and the association, which decides whether or not to hold the event, accepted Jeju Island’s request.
Safety is undoubtedly a priority. The Central Disaster and Emergency Management Agency is in a state of readiness for Kanun to make landfall on the south coast on the afternoon of the 10th, but Jeju Island needs to be ready sooner rather than later.
However, both clubs and fans expressed disappointment that if the game had to be postponed due to safety concerns, the decision should have been made at least a day before the event, rather than an hour before kick-off. Compare this to professional baseball games held around the country at the same time. If there were safety concerns, it would have been more equitable to cancel all games.
Moreover, both clubs have a lot to lose by postponing the semi-finals. With a packed K League schedule and the Asian Champions League (ACL) starting in August, it’s not easy to find a new date for the match. For the visitors, Pohang had to travel to and from Jeju a day earlier and a day later than usual to accommodate the typhoon. About 100 fans travelling with Pohang also had to return home disappointed.