Suwon Samseong tasted the humiliation of relegation to the second division for the first time in its history, and it was a fitting tribute to its greatest legend, Yeom Ki-hoon (40).
Suwon drew 0-0 with Gangwon FC in the final match of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 38th Round’ at Suwon World Cup Stadium at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2. With eight wins, nine draws and 21 defeats, and 33 points, Suwon was directly relegated to 12th place.
The club, which was founded in 1995 and has won four K League titles, five FA Cups, and two Asian Champions League titles, has fallen from grace overnight. Suwon’s relegation to the second division also means that the club’s “Super Match” with FC Seoul, once one of the biggest box office draws in professional soccer, will no longer take place.
After the relegation was finalized, Suwon fans filled the stands in disbelief. Some fans were so upset that they cried, while others stormed the field in frustration. Most of the fans were unable to recognize the reality that their club, a source of pride, had fallen to the second division.
Players also showed tears as they lay on the ground. But the harsh reality of relegation was already irreversible. “There are no excuses, we sincerely apologize. We will be reborn as Suwon Samsung with the determination to reinvent ourselves,” read the club’s apology. The club’s soulless message, which was like losing a cow and fixing a barn, only angered fans. 무지개토토
Suwon fans were even more upset because their beloved “legend” Gyeom Ki-hoon became the “bullet” for the team that was responsible for their relegation. An icon of Suwon’s past glory, Yeom Ki-hoon ended his playing career with Suwon with the harsh reality of relegation. The legendary player even served as a substitute coach and dedicated himself to the team, but all he was left with was the responsibility of relegation and tears.
It was a stark contrast to Lee Geun-ho’s glamorous retirement on the same day as his team’s victory to a standing ovation from the Daegu home fans. Taking the microphone after the game, Yeom Ki-hoon finally burst into tears, saying, “I’m so sorry and apologize to the fans, I’m so sorry,” and bowing his head.