by STEVE HAN
For some people, blasting a group of young men on blogs, Twitter and among friends isn’t enough.
When the South Korean national soccer team traveled home from Brazil, where they were eliminated in the first round of the World Cup without a single win for the first time in 16 years, players were greeted by two men holding up a sign that read, “Korean soccer is dead!!” at the Incheon Airport.
They were there to represent the online community group “We Lost Because of You,” recently formed to promote hatred towards the team. The group now has more than 4,000 members.
As the players walked through the airport gate, the two men threw yeot candy at them. In Korea, throwing the country’s traditional pine-nut candy at someone is a vulgar gesture that equates to the saying “eat sh-t.”
“They made the Korean people eat yeot with their performance at the World Cup,” said one of the men, a 41-year-old only identified by his last name Cho. “So we’re here to return their yeot.”
Since getting eliminated last Thursday with a loss to Belgium, the Korean players have been under heavy public scrutiny.
The animosity reached its peak when Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong tweeted a picture of himself just before the team departed Brazil with a brief message to thank those who supported the team. The message was removed after many people hurled jabs at Jung, saying he should have a time for “self-reflection” instead for bringing “shame” to the country.
Son Heung-min, Korea’s star forward, told reporters: “Should I eat these? I’m really sad. I feel a responsibility for not succeeding at the World Cup as a player who represents Korea. We all feel that way.”
Photo via Yonhap