SPORTS

Korea's football friendly vs. Tunisia canceled; Morocco likely next

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 25, 2017 - 10:33
  • Updated : Sept 25, 2017 - 11:25
South Korea's scheduled football friendly against Tunisia has been canceled, the national football governing body said Monday, with Morocco having emerged as the likely replacement.

The Korea Football Association said Tunisia pulled out of their commitment last Friday citing "internal reasons." The two had been set to face each other Oct. 10 in Switzerland.

Last week, Tunisian media reports said the team's head coach, Nabil Maaloul, didn't want to play South Korea only three days after their World Cup qualifying match, and he'd rather protect his players for remaining World Cup qualifiers in November rather than risk injuries in a friendly.
 
South Korean men`s national football head coach Shin Tae-yong announces his 23-man roster for upcoming friendly matches during a press conference at the Korea Football Association headquarters in Seoul on Sept. 25, 2017. (Yonhap)

In Tunisia's stead, the KFA said it has agreed in principle with Morocco to play a match Oct. 10, also in Switzerland. The two sides are trying to hammer out details.

Before that, South Korea will travel to Moscow to face Russia on Oct. 7.

Russia is ranked No. 64 in the world, 13 spots below South Korea. Russia have one win and one draw against South Korea, and their last meeting, a 1-1 draw, came in the group stage during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

South Korea have played 56th-ranked Morocco once. In March 1996, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw.

These are South Korea's first two friendly matches since the team, coached by Shin Tae-yong, clinched a berth at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia earlier this month. (Yonhap)