The K-League in South Korea will kick off its 2020 season on Friday, as the top national league in Asia is ready to roll.
Hit play on the hype video above. If that doesn’t get you fired up, I don’t know what will.
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South Korea has managed the coronavirus pandemic particularly well compared to many other nations around the world and that has allowed its soccer league to prepare for a return over the last few months, with friendly games going on throughout April and a clear plan in place to play games in empty stadiums.
With the German Bundesliga announcing it will return to action in late May, live games are gradually returning in countries which have controlled the coronavirus outbreak.
All 1,100 personnel across the league were tested for COVID-19 last week and every single test came back as negative for the coronavirus. Players have been told not to spit excessively or talk closely with one another, while they will have their own individual water bottles which are labelled.
The K-League has emerged as Asia’s top division and has produced more winners of the AFC Champions League than any other league.
It was due to kick off on February 29 but instead the first games of the 2020 season will take place this Friday, May 8. The 2020 season has been shortened from 38 games to 27 as the 12 teams have also agreed that if further complications arise, the table will be final as long as 22 games have been played.
All eyes will be on the K-League to see how they manage this return to action and they have said they are more than willing to share their manual with other leagues around the world.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, managed by Jose Mourinho’s former assistant Jose Morais, are the reigning champions as they’ve won five of the last six titles and there are plenty of Brazilian players scattered across the K-League as each team are allowed three foreign players and one player from another AFC nation.
We will keep you up to date with the latest action and analysis from the first week of the K-League season right here on ProSoccerTalk as the first games kick off from Friday morning at 6 a.m. ET and will be streamed on the league’s YouTube and Twitter accounts.
The opening game of the season at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium will be played between the reigning champs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors who host Suwon Samsung Bluewings who have won four titles.
Canadian international Doneil Henry plays for Suwon, while former San Jose Earthquakes and LAFC striker Marco Urena plays for Gwangju FC.