(H) Cheongju Jikji. 21st May. 4pm. Nowon Madeul Stadium
To many Koreans, Cheongju is football. Yes, it doesn’t have a history of famous sides like Pohang, the Steelers and the Woodsmen being two of the biggest sides ever to grace Korean football, nor does it have the reputation as a breeding ground for raw talent, Hong Myung-Bo once famously remarking “if I’d been born in Cheongju I would have been 12 before they told me what feet do,” and it certainly hasn’t played any historical significance in the rise of Korean football, the sport being banned in Cheongju between 1803 and 1987 after a citizen claimed a ball told him it was the devil and ordered him to kill his parents, which he did.
So, why is Cheongju so linked with football in the Korean conscience? One word: sticker albums. Continue reading