#Royaldrive:SouthKorea head coach Shin Tae-Yong admitted to using some devious counter-tactics to deal with a representative of Swedish soccer trying to watch their training he had his players switch jersey numbers because he figured that they couldn’t tell players’ faces apart. pic.twitter.com/gXkzvQtSXX— Royal FM 94.3 Kigali (@royalfmrwanda) June 18, 2018
The South Korea World Cup soccer team used some pretty ingenious methods to trick some of its Western competitors, resorting to switching their players’ jerseys during matches when other teams were scouting them.
During separate “friendlies” (exhibition) matches between Senegal and Bolivia, South Korea coach Shin Tae Yong had his players exchange jerseys with each other. Players wore numbers that didn’t correspond to what they usually wear.
“We switched them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents everything and try to confuse them,” Shin said. “They might know a few of our players, but it is very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians, and that’s why we did that.”
I still can't get over how S Korea's coach said one of his small tricks was to capitalize on how 'Western' people aren't able to tell Asians apart so he had his players switch jerseys during practice 😂 #FifaWorldCup2018— Joseph Kim (@josungkim) June 18, 2018
The South Korean soccer coach said he switched the players jerseys during warm-ups in order to confuse the other teams because "westerners can't tell Asians apart" I'M SCREAMING— 💕Persephone💕 (@ChildofTheZulu) June 18, 2018
yes SK use that perceptual bias to your advantage https://t.co/bjWZFkxEXQ— vacation dad (@papercrowns) June 18, 2018
The humorous strategy was not without merit — there are actual scientific studies that back up the coach’s reasoning. Since teams like Sweden were caught spying on the South Korea team, it made sense to try to outsmart the competition by using their psychological biases against them.
Unfortunately, the strategy wasn’t successful. Sweden ended up defeating South Korea 1-0 on Monday.
The World Cup is a great time for the world to come together to celebrate the sport of soccer. At times, however, there are stories that aren’t humorous that demand our attention.
With the world focusing on both the sport and the political complications created by the host country, it’s good to occasionally take notice of strategies like South Korea’s, if only to laugh a little bit about ourselves between the seriousness of topics elsewhere.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters