Bell still talking about ‘the forest’ after World Cup 2 losses
Press conference criticizes women’s soccer system
Criticized the system for avoiding responsibility for losses
“I’ll be honest with you, when I look at players in the WK League (women’s professional soccer without a relegation system), I think, ‘It’s good to win. But it’s not bad if we lose,’ and I think that’s ridiculous.”
Colin Bell, 62, the head coach of the South Korean women’s national soccer team, continued his criticism at an official press conference following the team’s 0-1 loss to Morocco in their second Group H match at the Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup on Sept. 30. He said, “There should be an atmosphere where young players aged 12 to 16 compete against each other, which is not the case in Korea. Japan has a 30-year vision for soccer.” “High-intensity training should be a framework from middle school to university to the league,” Bell said at a training camp in Australia ahead of the Morocco match. We need to change everything with this World Cup or we will lose out to other Asian countries.” He went on to criticize the competitiveness of the WK League, the system, and the development of Korean women’s soccer in general.
Many soccer fans agree with Bell’s comments. There are more than 1,500 female soccer players in South Korea. That’s a fraction of the 27,000 female players from junior high school age upwards registered with the Japan Football Association. Kim Ga-i, 36, head coach of the girls’ soccer team at Hanam Jungangcho, says, “Korean girls are usually introduced to soccer at a later age, in the fifth or sixth grade, due to a lack of awareness of the sport. At most, a team can have 15 players, so it’s not a wide base.” 안전놀이터
However, many are saying that Bell’s comments were ill-timed. While Bell, who also serves as an advisor to the age-group national teams, is entitled to express his soccer philosophy, many argue that talking about the underbelly of soccer after losing two games in a row at the World Cup, the ultimate test of a national team’s ability, could be seen as an excuse for losing.
Bell, who has been at the helm of the women’s national team since 2019, has had a long time to prepare for the World Cup, but the team’s inaccurate shooting, passing, and lack of link-up play have been exposed at the tournament. The team was disorganized, despite having many players who had been on the national team for more than a decade. However, when asked how to prepare for the third match against Germany, Bell stuck to his guns, saying that “the younger players need to play more” and “everything needs to change.” “I think he’s missing the forest for the trees,” said one soccer insider.