2002 20 years after the semifinals, the new glory of Korean football Ilgul Soccer Center

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On the afternoon of the 29th, a bird’s-eye view of the Korea National Soccer Center on a site of 451,693㎡ in Gasan-ri, Ippo-myeon, Cheonan-si. With the goal of completion in the first half of 2024, the construction will take place on a scale four times larger than the Paju National Training Center (NFC), which is currently used as a training ground for the national team. 2022.4.2/News 1 © News1 Reporter Kim Ki-nam

Korean football, which achieved the ‘World Cup semi-final myth’ by quenching at Paju NFC, is preparing for a new glory with the Korea Soccer Comprehensive Center to be completed in 2024.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Korea Football Center in Cheonan on the 29th.

The Soccer Comprehensive Center, which will become the new home of Korean football, will be built around 120 Gasan-ri, Ipang-myeon, Seobuk-gu, Cheonan-si, and will be completed in the first half of 2024.

The total size of the Korea Football Center is 455,693 square meters, which is four times larger than the Paju NFC, which is currently used as a training ground for the national team. The construction cost is set at 300 billion won, including infrastructure costs such as road construction.

This is a significant start for Korean football. This is because it is the first step to usher in the next era of Paju NFC, which has played a major role in Korean football.

Paju NFC has contributed greatly to Korean football. Previously, there was no proper soccer center facility, so the national team players had to stay in hotels and wander around various training grounds.

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Then, in the process of preparing for the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, Paju NFC was built. I have created a movement and environment where I can focus only on soccer. The national team players trained to their heart’s content in a dedicated training ground equipped with the best facilities.

Not just the national team. Since then, the entire culture and infrastructure of Korean football has completely changed. Paju NFC not only took charge of the smooth calling and training of national teams by age, but also contributed to the overall soccer industry by providing education for referees and youth leaders and holding various seminars hosted by KFA. It is for the same reason that KFA President Mong-gyu Chung said, “There was a development of Korean football because of Paju NFC.”

South Korean men’s soccer team players including Son Heung-min are training at the National Football Team Training Center (NFC) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on the afternoon of the 8th. The soccer team, led by coach Bento, will face Sri Lanka in Hwaseong on the 10th and North Korea on the 15th in the Qatar World Cup Asia second qualifying round. 2019.10.8/News1 © News1 Reporter Hwang Ki-seon

However, after 20 years, the contract expires, and Paju NFC is donated to Paju City. Now, Korean football has set up a new home and welcomed another comprehensive soccer center.

The Korea Football Center will have a total of 12 soccer fields, including a main stadium and an indoor soccer field, as well as a gym, accommodation, and office space. Various cultural facilities are together to contribute to life and sports.

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In addition to the construction of a football museum, it is expected to become another holy place that preserves the history of Korean football in addition to its use as a training ground.

Excellent accessibility. It was true that Paju NFC was located in the northern part of Seoul, so it was a pity to embrace the first half of Korean football. The new soccer center to be built in Cheonan, which is located in the center of the country as a key transportation hub, can become a more representative place for Korean football.

Chung Mong-gyu, president of the Korea Football Association, said, “Based on our geographical advantage, we will invite many overseas teams to make Cheonan a hub for world football,” said the blueprint for a new era.

Hwang Seon-hong, coach of the U-23 national team, who experienced Paju NFC as a player while preparing for the Korea-Japan World Cup, and was well aware of the significance of the comprehensive soccer center by visiting Paju NFC several times as a leader, also expressed his expectations.

Hwang said, “Behind the history of the Korea-Japan World Cup, there was Paju NFC. In the future, the spirit of Korean football development will gather in Cheonan. I heard that it has better facilities than Paju NFC. I hope,” he said with a smile.

On the afternoon of the 29th, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Korea Football Center was held on a site of 451,693 square meters in Gasan-ri, Ipyeong-myeon, Cheonan, with the presence of Chung Mong-gyu, President of the Korea Football Association, and Paulo Bento, coach of the national team. With the goal of completion in the first half of 2024, construction began on a scale four times larger than the Paju National Training Center (NFC), which is currently used as a training ground for the national team. 2022.4.2/News 1 © News1 Reporter Kim Ki-nam
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