Professional Football in COVID-19: One Month On with Ulsan Hyundai FC Striker Junior Negao
Updated: 2020-06-10 15:38:27 KST
We are now a month into the 2020 K League season.
Still with no fans invited in to cheer in the stands, but that hasn't stopped K League players from giving it their best run.
Professional football in the COVID-19 era, one month on.
It's the topic of our News In-depth. In the studio with us tonight is our sports editor, Paul Neat.
So, it's been a month already since the football league in Korea has been back in the field playing in the pandemic. What are some of the biggest changes you've been able to witness in the last month from previous seasons?
K league has been exemplary in turning crisis into opportunity in the face of COVID-19 - one of which has been its huge global exposure via social media and digital platforms.
I hear millions around the world are sharing memes and videos of K league games?
(answer should include answer for this Q. as well) How has K League been received by international fans? Is there scope for spread of K League games being broadcasted to more countries?
Let's talk about how the league is doing as a whole. Give us a quick rundown of the big takeways so far.
And, doing very well so far - the only team that's gone unbeaten is the Ulsan Hyundai FC and its Brazilian striker Junior has been voted the season's very first Player of the Month.
Junior Negao joins us live from Ulsan.
First off, huge congratulations going your way, Junior, on the East Coast Derby win AND for being awarded the very first Player of the Month of the season.
So, five goals in four matches. It is indeed impressive. Are you feeling better than usual? What's the secret behind the hot start of the season?
There is definitely a certain level of rivalry and even vengeance between Ulsan Hyundai and Pohang Steelers after what happened last year. You, as a team, went onto show your determination to defeat Pohang at the East Coast Derby.
Now, do you feel the Ulsan Hyundai is better equipped towards a win of the K League title?
You first joined K League back in 2017, and have continued to show us your power as a striker,
What is it about the K League that is compatible with your style of play?
While sporting events are happening behind closed doors with no fans in the stands, the silver lining has been that the K League is now being broadcasted in over 30 countries around the world.
What are the pros and cons of playing football in the COVID-19 era?
Junior Negao, the first Player of the Month of the season and striker for the Ulsan Hyundai FC, best of luck to you for the rest of the season and thank you for speaking with us tonight.
Paul, a teammate of Junior, Lee Chung-yong, has returned to the K league after playing in the Premier League and the Bundesliga for more than a decade. He's since been name the league's MVP for round five.
Is this a model that more teams should follow? Is it generally up to the players or the clubs to make this happen?
Are there any others Korean national football stars that you foresee returning home in the near future?
What would make it more attractive for these stars to return to K League?
The English Premier League announced a provisional return next week with no fans in attendance.
How do you think fans will fair? Does K League have their own merits to keep international fans interested?
Is there anything further that K League can do for their international fan base?
KBO, for instance, have made an English language fan shop for people overseas to purchase uniforms.
What are some things in store for us to look forward to in K League this weekend?
Fabulous talk on K league one month on. Thanks, Paul for the round up. We appreciate it.