Monday, February 25, 2008

South Korean soccer star scores own goal with his girlfriend

Kim's the second in from the left, although I don't see a baby bump...

It's not often that South Korean soccer players make it into the news, except for that dizzying run of fortune and success in the 2002 World Cup. I still haven't figured out how they managed to beat Portugal, Italy and Spain all in the same tournament, but some things will forever remain a mystery.

What won't remain a mystery any longer is the story of Pohang Steelers defender Hwang Jae-Won, who found all eyes of the media firmly fixed on him this past weekend.

Why? Because he was issuing a public apology for forcing his girlfriend to have an abortion. Oh, and she was a contestant in the Miss Korea beauty pageant.

I'm not entirely clear on the cultural norms of South Korea [someone please fill me in on those in the comments], but the story itself is pretty damning.


Kim initially sparked the controversy by posting a message on the Korea Football Association web site indicating she was dating a soccer player from Pohang for eight months and that his last name was Hwang.

Kim also wrote that Hwang coerced her into having an abortion.

Goal reported that the incident caused Huh Jung-moo, the manager of the South Korean soccer team participating in the East Asian Football Championship in Chonqing, China to boot Hwang from the team.

No-one comes out of this looking particularly good, but hopefully he can make the most of his newly-gifted free time to sort the mess out.

Now the distinction hasn't yet been made by Hwang, as his apology was aimed at atoning for the amount of media furore over the story and NOT a direct apology or admission that the rumours are indeed true. However, the David Beckham school of Media Management indicates that you come out early and often before the media's formed too much of an opinion.

You also have to wonder why he'd apologize if he did nothing wrong.

The matter is still being investigated.

Oh, and for those trying to score at home, Kim finished fifth in that beauty pageant.

No comments: