SPORTS

Korean city Yongin says nothing confirmed on hosting pro football club

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jul 18, 2017 - 15:56
  • Updated : Aug 11, 2017 - 13:20

South Korean city Yongin said Tuesday that nothing has been confirmed on hosting a pro football club in its region, denying rumors that it has contacted Jeju United in the top domestic league.

Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi Province located 50 kilometers south of Seoul, will complete the construction of a multi-sport stadium with 37,155 seats in November. To make the stadium sustainable, it was suspected the city would host a sports franchise and it was rumored to be talking with Jeju United.

But a city official denied that it has had contact with the K League Classic club.

This photo provided by Yongin City Government on July 15, 2017, shows construction of a stadium in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)
"We did consider hosting a sports franchise to utilize the stadium, but we haven't met with Jeju officials," said Kang Beom-sik, who is in charge of sports administration at Yongin City Government. "Yongin has never hosted a provincial sports festival, so we constructed the stadium with that in mind, but in search of ways to use the venue, we thought about hosting a football club or a baseball club."

Jeju United, owned by South Korean conglomerate SK Group, have been on Jeju Island since 2006 after signing a deal with the municipal government. But since their contract will expire next year, the club was speculated to be considering a move to a new city. The 1989 K League champions were previously based in Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, Seoul and Incheon.

After rumors spread that Jeju United could relocate to a new city next season, club supporters displayed banners opposing the team's move and demanded an explanation from management. Jeju previously said they've not pursued relocation.

"I think they were linked to our city since their deal with Jeju Island ends next year," Kang said. "We're open to every possibility, but we've yet to come to the conclusion of hosting a football club." (Yonhap)