Korea to host regional football tournament in 2019

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 19, 2017 - 13:20
  • Updated : Dec 19, 2017 - 13:20

South Korea will host a regional football tournament in 2019 that features both men's and women's national football teams, an official from the national football governing body said Tuesday.

The East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship will be held in South Korea in 2019, the Korea Football Association said, following its rotational order of hosting the four-nation tournament.

"On rotational basis in the order Japan, South Korea and China, we'll host the 2019 edition of the E-1 Football Championship," a KFA official said. "Once we receive the presidency from Japan next March, we'll set up office and start preparations for the tournament."

In this file photo taken on Dec. 16, 2017, South Korea men`s national football team players and coaches celebrate after they won the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo. (Yonhap)

It will be the third time that South Korea will host the regional tournament. The country previously staged the football event in 2005 and 2013.

The E-1 Football Championship, previously known as the East Asian Cup, started in 2003. It's a four team round-robin tournament held every two or three years.

For the men's competition, South Korea, Japan and China are in the finals and the remaining seven EAFF members will need to play qualifying matches to win one remaining spot.

The South Korean men's national team, led by head coach Shin Tae-yong, will look to become two-time defending champions at home in 2019. Last week, the Taeguk Warriors demolished Japan 4-1 in their final match and won the 2017 edition of the tournament.

The women's national football team finished last in this year's tournament with straight losses, but they will be in the finals in 2019 as the tournament hosts. The women's competition also gives automatic spots to the top two teams in FIFA rankings, with one remaining spot going to the team that wins the qualifying stage.

 North Korea will be looking for their fourth consecutive championship in 2019. They're currently ranked 11th in the world, two spots behind Japan.