The Korea Herald


[Korea Quiz] (34) Color of Korean soccer

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 21, 2022 - 09:48

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Test your knowledge of Korea with our weekly quiz on the language, culture, history or anything K-related. -- Ed.

Find the answer at the bottom of the page.

Many Koreans avoid writing their name in red as it traditionally signifies death, and in the political arena the color red has long been linked with communism after the Korean War.

But the 2002 World Cup transformed the meaning of “red” into unity and strength when hundreds of thousands of unwavering "Red Devils” fans were seen sporting red T-shirts, hair bands and scarves emblazoned with the nation’s name in Korean -- Daehanminguk -- in support of the national team.

This year’s World Cup in Qatar has once again inflamed the passion of the Red Devils by turning Gwanghwamun Square, central Seoul, into a sea of red.

Why red?

Red became the representative color for the Korean team because it was the color of the soccer jerseys the Korean players wore during the London Olympics in 1948, the year Korea joined FIFA.

In 1986, when Park Chang-sun scored Korea’s first-ever goal on the World Cup stage in Mexico, he was also wearing red.

The nickname of the national team’s official support club -- the “Red Devils” -- originated from the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship in Mexico, during which the red-uniformed Korean squad reached the semifinals in a major upset. Covering Korea’s improbable run, foreign media referred to them as “red furies” which was later translated into Korean as “red devils.”

Answer: (a)