The coach of the Korean giants heaped praise on Qatar’s stadiums and believes that the country is well prepared for the World Cup…
Ulsan Hyundai boss Kim Do-hoon has given a thumbs up to Qatar’s 2022 FIIFA World Cup preparedness and tournament hosting capabilities ahead of his team’s AFC Champions League Group F clash against Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday.
Qatar stepped in as the centralized hosting venue for the pandemic-delayed 2020 season for the East Zone group and knockout matches after successfully hosting the West Zone phase of the tournament in September.
“The quarantine facility here is very good and monitoring of the safety procedures is fantastic,” the visibly satisfied Ulsan Hyundai boss told reporters. Kim’s team was recently rocked by the news of goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo testing positive for COVID just ahead of the start of the ACL while being with the South Korean national team in Austria.
Kim praised the infrastructure on show at the host nation of the 2022 World Cup. “I came here twenty years ago as a Jeonbuk Hyundai player but now everything has changed,” he said. “The place looks totally different. As a country hosting the World Cup, it is well prepared.
The Ulsan boss also had a word of praise for Education City Stadium, the 2022 World Cup venue where his team will be taking on Shanghai Shenhua. “The ground and facilities are great,” he said. “There is great involvement to play football here. The stadiums are kept cooled at 23 degrees [Celsius] and this helps players a lot. I hope the players are motivated to be at their best.”
The veteran that Kim turns to for his experience, former South Korean winger Lee Chung-yong, admitted the difficulties of playing football in a bubble but said that players need to remain focused.
“Because we are in Coronavirus times, players have to be in the bubble and keep to their rooms,” said the former Bolton Wanderers man. “Therefore it is tough to be in good physical condition as we just go out for training. It is a difficult situation but there is no point complaining about it as it is the same for every team.
“We just need to focus on each match. We have a big good squad and if we concentrate hard we can go high every game,” concluded Lee, who is no stranger to playing a mega tournament in Qatar after being an integral part of the South Korean side which finished third in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.