The highly anticipated Korea Tour 2023 has come to an end. Following AS Roma, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Celtic, Incheon United also announced the termination of its contract.
On August 5, Incheon announced on the club’s official website, “The club was scheduled to play a friendly match against an overseas team on August 1, but due to the tournament organizer’s failure to comply with the contract, the club has notified us of the termination of the contract and non-participation in the match. The friendly match has been finally canceled. We ask for the understanding of our fans.”
Wolverhampton, with Hwang Hee-chan, Celtic, with Oh Hyun-gyu, and Roma, managed by José Mourinho, were scheduled to travel to South Korea for friendly matches this summer. The Stadium X (STX)-Universal Sports Group (USG) consortium has organized the trio’s visit, and even announced a detailed itinerary under the name Korea Tour 2023. Wolverhampton-Celtic at Suwon World Cup Stadium on July 26, Wolverhampton-Roma at Incheon Asiad Stadium on July 29, and Incheon United-Roma at the same venue on August 1.
But it all fell through. First, Roma pulled out, saying they hadn’t received the down payment from the organizers, and then Wolverhampton canceled their trip to Korea. According to Italy’s Corriere dello Sport, Roma had agreed with the Korean promoters to pay €3 million (approx. KRW 4.2 billion) for the match, and asked for a partial payment upfront. However, they did not receive the money and eventually canceled the tour.
Wolverhampton is also hastily pursuing a European tour instead of Korea. “We are canceling our Korean tour due to the tour promoter’s failure to meet their financial and logistical obligations,” Wolverhampton said on March 29, “We have been working closely with the promoter for several months, but our original investor pulled out and we had to take over the situation. Numerous promises were not fulfilled. It’s a big blow to the club from a commercial point of view.” 안전놀이터
Celtic also pulled out. The reason was the same: payment. “The club had planned to play Premier League Wolverhampton in South Korea later this month, but the tour promoter was unable to meet a number of financial and logistical operations. After weeks of delays, the club has taken the difficult decision to terminate the contract and withdraw from the tour.”
With so many international teams canceling their visits, Incheon had no choice. Incheon also announced that it had terminated its contract with the tournament organizers and announced that it would not participate in the friendly match.
In the end, the much-hyped ‘Midsummer Night’s Soccer Festival’ faded away like a midsummer night’s dream. With specific dates and venues all announced, there didn’t seem to be too many variables, but it ended up being canceled due to financial issues.