World Cup: South Korea Admits Training Stunt is Because ‘Europeans’ Can’t Tell Asians Apart

South Korean players at the FIFA World Cup have switched shirts in a deliberate attempt to confuse the Swedish team which allegedly spied on one of their closed training sessions.

Coach Shin Tae-yong revealed the ingenious move in a recent interview, believing that it would confuse European opponents who cannot tell them apart.

“In my opinion, I think when the Europeans look at us Asians, I think it could be one of the reasons. I think we wanted to confuse the Swedish team. That’s why we did that,” quoted him as saying.


Shin added that only captain Ki Sung-yueng and Tottenham forward Son Heung-min wore their usual kit numbers against Bolivia and Senegal earlier this month.

“We swapped them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents anything. Ki Sung-yueng is probably known, as is Son Heung-min, but for the other players it might be a little bit confusing.

“It’s very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians and that’s why we did that.”


According to BBC, Sweden has been accused of sending one of its scouts, Lasse Jacobsson, to a closed South Korea training session in Austria.

Speaking to reporters, coach Janne Andersson admitted that Jacobsson “watched from a distance.”

“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.”

As it turned out, Jacobsson used a high-performance telescope and a video camera to observe the Korean team from a house near their base camp, according to Reuters.

Claiming to be a tourist, he was reportedly kicked out of a closed session before persuading a local couple to lend him their house.


Jacobsson told reporters, “It took a long car journey up the mountains to reach the house, but it was a perfect spot to observe the Korean team’s training.”

For it’s part, the Swedish team complained that their own camp was easy to infiltrate.

Shin commented, “I think all coaches probably feel that way, that the other team is spying on them. We have to analyse the other team and we do what we can to win the match, so I think it’s perfectly natural for us to try to understand the other team.”


The two teams face off on Monday, 13:00 p.m. BST.

Related Posts