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S. Korea confirms venues for Honduras, Bosnia Herzegovina football friendlies

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — South Korea on Friday confirmed the venues for the upcoming friendly football matches against Honduras and Bosnia Herzegovina at home.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the men’s national football team, led by head coach Shin Tae-yong, will take on Honduras at Daegu Stadium in Daegu on May 28 and play against Bosnia Herzegovina at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on June 1. Both matches will kick off at 8 p.m.

The two friendlies are South Korea’s last two World Cup warmup matches at home before flying to Russia. South Korea are in Group F at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Germany, Sweden and Mexico.

In this file photo taken March 27, 2018, South Korean national football team players pose for a photo ahead of their friendly match against Poland at Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland. (Yonhap)In this file photo taken March 27, 2018, South Korean national football team players pose for a photo ahead of their friendly match against Poland at Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland. (Yonhap)

The KFA said Daegu will host an international football match for the first time since August 2005, when South Korea faced Japan at the 2005 East Asian Cup. The friendly against Honduras will be also the first national team match for Daegu Stadium since it earned a new name in 2008.

Daegu Stadium, currently home to South Korean pro football club Daegu FC, was originally named Daegu World Cup Stadium when it was completed in 2001 for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The 65,000-capacity arena hosted two of South Korea’s World Cup matches in 2002 — the Group D contest against the United States and the third-place match against Turkey. For the match against Turkey, which South Korea lost 3-2, the stadium accommodated 63,483 fans, the largest football attendance ever recorded outside of Seoul.

Jeonju World Cup Stadium, home to reigning K League 1 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, last hosted a national team match in September 2013, when South Korea met Croatia for a friendly match.

In this file photo taken Sept. 10, 2013, South Korean national football team players show their respect to fans after they lost 2-1 to Croatia in a friendly match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)In this file photo taken Sept. 10, 2013, South Korean national football team players show their respect to fans after they lost 2-1 to Croatia in a friendly match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)

The KFA said the launching ceremony for the South Korean squad for the World Cup will be also held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. Since 2006, the KFA had held the ceremony in Seoul but to feed off the energy of avid football fans in Jeonju, it decided to select the city in North Jeolla Province, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

“Daegu is the city where I spend my middle school, high school and college days,” South Korean head coach Shin Tae-yong said. “Jeonju is home to the national team members who play for Jeonbuk, so we expect many fans to support us.”

   Shin is expected to announce his 23-man roster for the World Cup in May. After playing two friendly matches at home, his team will travel to Austria to play against Bolivia on June 7 and Senegal on June 11 to fine-tune their preparations for the World Cup.

Shin’s side is scheduled to move on to St. Petersburg in Russia, where its World Cup base camp is located, on June 12.

kdon@yna.co.kr

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