Korea, in ancient times, had a ball game called chuk-guk, which was very similar in form to contemporary football. However, Koreans were not introduced to the present version of the game until 1882, when British crew members played a game while their vessel was visiting the Inchon Port. In 1921, the first All Korea Football Tournament was held, and then in 1928, The Korea Football Association was organized, which created a foundation to disseminate and develop football in Korea.
During the decades of occupation of Korea by Japan, football helped to alleviate the frustrations of the oppressed Koreans and to foster the hope of liberation. However, in 1940, the Japanese government forced the The Korea Football Association to dissolve. Following the surrender of Japan in World War II and the establishment of the Republic of Korea, the Korea Football Association (KFA) was reinstated in 1948. The KFA became a member of FIFA, the international football governing body, in 1948. The same year, the Korean national team made its international debut at the Olympic Games in London. The KFA joined the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in 1954. Since the 1960s, Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia, winning several prestigious Asian football championships. The Korean national team played in the World Cup finals for 5 consecutive years from 1986. The Korean professional football league was launched in 1983 as the first of its kind in Asia. This not only pleased domestic fans, but it has also upgraded the level of the Korean football.
South Korea has historically been a major football power in Asia, winning several prestigious Asian football championships, including the first two Asian Cup tournaments, but have failed to win the title since their last triumph in 1960. The South Korean national team has also played in seven consecutive World Cup finals (from 1986), and a total of eight World Cup finals in all.
The traditional rival of the Korean Republic national football team is Japan. The Korean Republic football team had 75 matches with the Japanese football team and won 40, drew 22, lost 13 matches. However, in the last 12 games both teams have 3 wins each with 6 draws. The Korean and Japanese football rivalry began when they became opponents in the AFC World Cup qualifiers since the initial formation of the World Cup.
In their first World Cup finals tournament, the 1954 World Cup as the second Asian team to ever enter the World Cup after the Dutch East Indies, South Korea played games against Hungary and Turkey, losing 9–0 and 7–0 respectively. It took 32 years before South Korea was able to participate in the World Cup finals again, when the team qualified for the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico City.
They lost 3–1 to Argentina, drew 1–1 with Bulgaria, and lost 3–2 to Italy.
In 1990 World Cup, they lost 3 times against Spain, Uruguay, and Begium.
In 1994 World Cup, they drew with Spain 2-2 and with Bolivia 0-0, and lost to Germany 2-3 to fail to advance the second stage.
In 1998 World Cup, they drew with Belgium 1-1, but lost to Mexico and the Netherlands to fail to advance.
Read more about this topic: South Korea National Football Team
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