Coaches create different strategies for individual players and try to fool the opposition by trying out different things in the training sessions. But South Korea coach Shin Tae-Young found a hilarious yet effective way to fool the Swedish ‘spies’. Tae-Young put Westerners’ relative inability to distinguish between Asian players to his use. He made his players swap their jerseys in recent friendlies so that they couldn’t tell them apart.
Here’s what South Korean coach said in the press conference:
“We switched them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents everything and to try and confuse them. 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. All coaches probably feel their opponents are always spying on them. I think it’s perfectly natural that we all try to get as much information on each other as we can.”
The Swedish coach Janne Anderson admitted in the pre-match conference that his scout Lasse Jacobsson watched the Koreans play in Austria. Here’s how Anderson clarified his stand,
“He heard about a practice session, he didn’t understand that it was a closed session, he didn’t understand and he watched from a distance. It’s very important we show respect to all our opponents in all circumstances. If someone could interpret it in another way we regret it. It’s been made a mountain out of a molehill.”
South Korea will go up against Sweden in their first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018. The last time these two countries met in a big tournament was in 1948 at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in London. Sweden won the clash by a comprehensive 12-0 margin. However, they went up against each other in three friendlies wherein Sweden won one and the other two ended in a draw.