Peace soccer gives glory to God through soccer. Just as you must know clearly in order to take action clearly, I pray that you will know about soccer clearly and give glory to God perfectly.
The introduction of soccer to Korea
According to The Chronicles of the Three States, it says that Chook-guk in Silla Dynasty was a kind of ball kicking game. It is assumed that Chook-guk might have been a game for kicking or throwing something round, such as a livestock’s bladders or a placenta that was filled with air. Modern soccer originated from England, and it was introduced [to Korea] in 1882 through the crewmembers of the British war vessel, Flying Horse, which arrived at Incheon Harbor. In 1900, an interpreter who had studied abroad in a palace and interpreted for palace and government officials organized a soccer club. In addition, in 1904, in [Korea’s] Government Foreign Language School, a French teacher started to teach soccer to students, and from then on, soccer was popularized. The very first soccer game in Korea was between the Korean Soccer Fraternity and the YMCA at Seoul Training Center on June 10th, 1905.
It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Korea began to hold tournaments with all the proper soccer equipment that was needed for the game under the international rules. In 1921, the first All Chosun Soccer Tournament was held, and in 1928, the Chosun Referee Association was established. On September 19th, 1933, the Chosun Soccer Association was established. Soccer that everybody could enjoy without any special equipment was very popular at that time. Moreover, ever since the Gyeongpyeong Soccer Tournament started a friendly soccer competition between Gyeongseong (Seoul) soccer team and Pyeongyang soccer team beginning in 1929, it amplified people’s interest towards soccer.
The Chosun Soccer Association which was dismissed at the end of Japanese rule was launched anew in 1948 after Korea’s independence, changing its name to the Korea Soccer Association. At the same time, Korea joined FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and in 1954, it became an official member nation of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation). In 1948, we stepped onto the world stage for the London Olympics final with the name Korea for the first time. In 1954, we advanced to the World Cup final in Switzerland for the first time.
In 1971, the very first Korean soccer tournament, the ‘President Park Trophy Asian Soccer Tournament,’ was held. From 1976, tournament was called the President Park Trophy National Soccer Tournament, and from 1980, it was called the President Trophy National Soccer Tournament. After that, from 1995, it was called the Korea Cup, and it was held until 1999.
In 1983, ‘Super League’ which was professional soccer was established, and it started with 5 teams. However, Korean professional soccer grew to 15 teams in 2010. Until 2012, it was called, ‘K-League,’ but it was changed to ‘K League Classic’ for the first part of the league and ‘K League’ for the second part of the league as promotions and relegations were introduced.
The Miracle of the Time Period that God Showed even in the 2002 World Cup
The Korean national soccer team went to the World Cup finals eight times in a row from the Mexico World Cup in 1986 to the Brazil World Cup in 2014. It made Korea the country that made it to World Cup finals the most (a total of eight times) in Asia. The nations that have been to the World Cup finals eight times in a row are Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Argentina, and they are all top-notch soccer countries of the world; including Korea, there are only six nations [that have accomplished this feat]. In 2002, Korea held the World Cup together with Japan, and in the 2002 tournament, Korea surprised the whole world by going to the final 16; afterwards, they made it to the final four for the first time.
Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok said, “In the 2002 World Cup, the strong came to lose and the weak came to win. It shocked and surprised the audience, making them look up to God. On the other hand, God made those who lost and were discouraged repent for their arrogant hearts and sins for not giving themselves as offerings to glorify God. Heaven led the games like this because there was the Will. We should realize that if we become enthusiastic only towards soccer and do not give glory to God who let us play soccer, then we will face something that breaks our heart and is regretful.”
The 2002 World Cup was a miracle of the time period. At the World Cup event that God carried out, He surprised the world by presenting Korea as the standard nation of faith that was on the world-wide scale. He also surprised the nations who were crazy only about soccer with the game results by throwing a curveball. You should know these are all works of God and also a miracle of the time period.
The History of Heaven that was shown through Korean Soccer
After the miracle in 2002, Korea succeeded in reaching the finals as an away team for the first time in the 2010 Republic of South Africa World Cup. Also Korea women’s soccer also made it to third place at the Female U-20 World Cup in Germany. In addition, Korea won a long-awaited victory at the 2010 U-17 Female World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, and finally made a monumental landmark by landing first place at the FIFA tournament for the first time in the history of Korean soccer. After that, at the 2012 London Olympic, Korea won its first bronze medal since the 1984 London Olympic, which was 64 years ago.
Moreover, Korea achieved a Grand Slam by hosting all four major tournaments under FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, by launching the underage World Cup in 2017. Despite having a short history of soccer compared to the superpowers, Korea has been holding big events.
I think it was because even though they believed in the same God and the Lord as other countries, they kneeled to give prayers of thanksgiving on the field and testified for Jesus by wearing a t-shirt with ‘Jesus’ written on it and showing it to the audience. In the end, when Korea soccer team gave glory to God, everyone else also gave glory to God through them. I hope that Korean soccer will prosper more and more as they continue to give glory to God through soccer.
Next time, I will cover the beginning of Providence soccer and physical training, praise through sports, and the blessings that are given through the condition of glorifying God.
[Reference] Naver Encyclopedia