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To participate in Saudi friendly tournament

Hwang Sun-hong's U-23 national soccer team, which aims to advance to the Olympic finals for the 10th consecutive time, departed for Saudi Arabia through Incheon International Airport on the morning of the 18th to participate in the West Asian Football Confederation (WAFF) U-23 Championship.

The WAFF U-23 Championship, which will be held in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, from the 18th to the 26th during the A-match period in March, is a prelude to the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar U-23 Asian Cup, which will also be held in Qatar on the 15th of next month as an Asian qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Hong Si-hoo (Incheon) and Lee Young-joon (Kimcheon) were selected instead of Hong Yoon-sang (Pohang) and Jo Wi-je (Busan), who were injured, and headed to Saudi Arabia.

Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of the U-23 national team, was originally scheduled to lead the team himself in this tournament, but as he took over as the temporary head coach of the A national team, whose head coach was vacant due to the replacement of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the U-23 national team became Hwang Sun-hong without Hwang Sun-hong.

Coach Hwang will lead the A national team in the third and fourth rounds of the second Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup against Thailand, and instead, head coach Myung Jae-yong will lead the U-23 national team in Dammam.

The WAFF U-23 Championship will feature eight countries, including South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iraq, Australia, Thailand, and Egypt.

Each team will play three times in the tournament. It will be held in the quarterfinals tournament, but the winners and losers will compete each other to determine the rankings from first to eighth place.

Korea will play its first match against Thailand on June 20. Depending on the result of the match against Thailand, the team will play the winner or loser of the Saudi-Jordan match on June 23, and will play the final ranking match on June 26.
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Monday, March 18, 2024
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