EAFF East Asian Cup 2013 & EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2013 Final Competition



EAFF President Chung Mong-gyu Interviewed: "Glad to hold the top football competition in East Asia"

Q: The fifth EAFF East Asian Cup is being held with great success. As the president of EAFF and also the KFA, it must be a very meaningful competition for you.

A: The member states of EAFF are Korea Republic's closest neighbors. We have history of conflict and division, but we often worked together in harmony. The East Asian Cup is the biggest festival for the advancement of East Asian football. I am glad to host such an event where neighboring nations can actively exchange.

Q: It must feel very different to actually host a match. How do you feel about Korea's capacity to hold such international competitions, and what do you think needs improvement?

A: Korea Republic was one of the co-hosts of 2002 FIFA World Cup. I think we have an advantage in terms of facilities and resources. However, the media and fan's participation needs improvement. A great event wouldn't be complete unless we can tell everyone about it.

Q: The East Asian Cup seems to bear a dilemma. The Women's competition is definitely a world-class competition. Men's competition, on the other hand, tends act as a preparatory stage. What is your thought on this?

A: It's not only the European league players that represent their nations. Members have adjusted their league schedules for the East Asian Cup. It has made the East Asian Cup the stage for the best players in each nation's leagues. In Korea Republic, the best players from the K Leagues and the J League have joined the team. Of course, experience in the European stages is important, but it is disrepectful for the national leagues to depend on it. Also, I do not believe that the lack of European Leaguers is a drawback for the competition. When you see players each holding a position in their respective leagues, join the national team and compete against other nations, the important status of the East Asian Cups will become apparent.

Q: EAFF, along with other Asian football federations, is an important axis of Asian football. What do you think is the priority for East Asian football to improve further?

A: EAFF was the birthplace of many AFC Champions League winners. Our status is more than equal to other associations. As we have a great potential in football, if the Asian nations continue healthy relationship of respect, the Asian and the global football world will regard us highly.

Q: This year's East Asian Cup is nearing its finale. Do you have anything to say for the players and the fans?

A: The East Asian Cup is a huge event with neighbors like China, Japan and Australia. If we suspend our age-old struggles and gain new understanding of our neighbors, it would help Korean Football grow to be more mature. Please enjoy this great event with our neighbors as family.