South Korea managed to “flatten the curve” before the COVID-19 cases reached levels that would force the government to enforce lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Yet the infectious disease is still in the country’s midst, and still affecting the sports-event industry. This past week, the K League announced that as two football players have tested positive of the novel coronavirus, some of the fixtures in the K League 1 and K League 2 divisions have been canceled for rescheduling later.
K League Game Cancellations
Hwang Hyun-soo of FC Seoul and an unnamed player of K League 2 team, Chungnam Asan FC, had tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, the following matches have been cancelled:
May 5: Chungnam Asan vs. Ansan Greeners
May 8: FC Seoul vs. Gwangju FC
May 9: Seongnam vs. Ulsan Hyundai / Chungnam Asan vs. Seoul E-Land
May 12: FC Seoul vs. Daegu FC / Seongnam vs. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
May 15: FC Seoul vs. Jeonbuk / Seongnam vs. Pohang Steelers
May 16: Chungnam Asan vs. Busan iPark
May 18: FC Seoul vs. Incheon United
May 19: Seongnam vs. Gangwon FC
Background Story about the K League Game Cancellations
Last Monday, FC Seoul reported that prior to defender Hwang Hyun-soo’s knowing that he had tested positive, Hwang played as substitute in the Friday match against Seongnam FC. According to Hwang, he contracted the disease from a friend he met with a week earlier, who apparently, was asymptomatic at that time. As the turn of events has it, both Hwang and his friend were contact-traced and tested, which unfortunately returned last Sunday with positive results.
Although all FC Seoul and FC Seongnam players, as well as referees and match officials who participated in the Friday game had tested negative, it was still necessary for them to self isolate as a preventive measure.
On the other hand, K League 2, Chungnam Asan FC confirmed that one of their players had tested positive for COVID-19, but did not show up to play in the match against Daejeon Hana Citizen FC scheduled last Sunday. Nevertheless, the spokesperson for Chungnam Asan FC said all players and staff have been tested, to which the results were all negative.
Daejeon Hana Citizen FC, which met with the same problem last year, announced that they will still carry on with their scheduled games. K League fans still saw some games played today (May 13) as scheduled, and so will the Friday fixtures Gangwon FC vs. FC Suwon and Incheon vs. Gwangju.
Fortunately for football bettors who have been watching the games being streamed at K League TV, they can still access local online toto betting sites like https://nangman24toto.com/.
The 2021 K League Professional Football though is currently, still in the first phase, which per original schedule is expected to carry on until October 03. After which, the season will proceed to the 2-tier final phase, where the 12 teams will be divided into two groups of 6 football clubs that will play either in the Final A or Final B Tier. The tier designation of football teams depends on their performances in the first phase of round robin games.