There is a good thing about Korea and Japan being neighbors. When you find a sparring opponent, you can group them into a ‘set’.
On the 6th, the Korea Football Association (KFA) said, “The opponent for the friendly A match to be held in Korea on March 24 is Colombia. The venue and time of the match have yet to be determined.” At the same time, the Japan Football Association (JFA) also announced, “We will play a friendly match against Colombia on March 28th in Osaka.”
Colombia, which will visit Korea and Japan in turn, is the 17th ranked team in the FIFA World Ranking. It ranks fourth in South America after Brazil (1st), Argentina (2nd) and Uruguay (16th). World-class players such as James Rodriguez (Olympiacos), Radamel Falcao (Rayo Vallecano), Davidson Sanchez (Tottenham), and Juan Cuadrado (Juventus) are lined up.
Korea and Japan were able to pick up ‘popular’ opponent Colombia relatively easily. This was possible because the two countries are geographically close and the level of the national team is at a high level. The distance between Korea (Seoul) and Japan (Osaka) is only 830 km. It is similar to the distance from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, to the northern coast. Also, both Korea and Japan are teams that advanced to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Above all, the most important thing in reality is ‘money’. When looking for an opponent for a friendly A match, the home team often hands over the cost of inviting the visiting team, airfare, and staying, but the cost is not cheap. If either Korea or Japan had invited Colombia, the cost would have been doubled. Fortunately, Korea and Japan were able to invite Colombia, the world’s 17th-ranked team, by paying half the airfare. 메이저사이트
The same is true for the opposing team. For Colombia, it is a big burden to travel to East Asia on the other side of the globe to play one game. He readily accepted the offer of invitations from both Korea and Japan, judging that it would be efficient to travel to Japan while coming all the way to Korea.
It happens often in friendly A matches. You can tell by looking at last year’s A-match schedule. Korea held a friendly match in June 2022 by calling four teams (Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Egypt) to their home. Among them, Brazil and Paraguay also played a friendly match in Japan. The world’s strongest Brazil swept East Asia and returned as a ‘favorable team’.
An official from the soccer world said, “It is usually not difficult to find an opponent team during an A match. If Korea alone invites a popular team, the cost burden will be high. The opposing team will not come all the way to Korea to play one game,” he said. “If Korea and Japan promote it together, it will be a reasonable option in terms of cost and schedule.”
Meanwhile, another opponent for Korea’s A match in March has not yet been decided. According to Japanese officials, Japan has agreed to play a friendly against Uruguay. There is a high possibility that Uruguay will visit South Korea and Japan on staggered schedules with Colombia. Regarding this, an official from the Korea Football Association reserved his words, saying, “The contract has not been finalized yet.”