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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Korea deserve more credit
Korean coach Guus Hiddink and his team deserve credit
Guus Hiddink has inspired the Koreans
Andy Gray

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I have been hearing some anti-Korean stuff mooted about and I find that amazing.

The Korean team has been one of the most honest I have seen in these championships.

They work harder and have to be more disciplined than other teams.

You don't see them throwing themselves about, you don't see them feigning injury, and you don't see them going over the top and topping people.

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Fifa has done a good job in shovelling the blame elsewhere
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Andy Gray

They have just had an enormous amount of good luck.

The reaction back home from some newspapers saying that people shouldn't support Korea because of what has happened is extremely unfair and really over the top.

The players haven't asked for these favours, Guus Hiddink hasn't asked for these favours.

But that's what football does. It sometimes gives you a bit of luck and for South Korea to reach the semi-finals, they needed a bit of luck.

Although I must admit, I didn't think it would be this much.

The real fault lies with Fifa for appointing these officials.

That's been glossed over and Fifa has done a good job in shovelling the blame elsewhere.

But I think Fifa is at fault first and foremost for the people they appoint.

Oliver Kahn's statement has put pressure on the referee
Oliver Kahn's statement has put pressure on the referee

There's a bit of political correctness here in selecting referees, instead of selecting them on ability alone.

It's rubbish to think that because a country is a member of Fifa they should have a representative.

Referees from the Maldives, or Trinidad and Tobago haven't officiated in football of the standard they have to take part in here.

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All this is taking the gloss off what's been an incredible journey for Korea
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Andy Gray

The best referees must come to the World Cup, particularly the best linesmen because I think the job of the assistant referee is harder than the referee.

I don't think the game would mind at all if the best referees were appointed, no matter where they came from.

I also see that Oliver Kahn has said the Germans are prepared mentally to have goals disallowed.

All this is taking the gloss off what's been an incredible journey for Korea.

When you've been in Seoul you get the feeling there's a lot of disappointment at the reaction of the world's press.

Oliver Kahn is experienced and a very cute man in respect of letting the referee know what the Germans are thinking.

Fifa should be picking him up and saying 'you can't say that before a semi-final.'


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"The Korean team is one of the most honest I have seen"
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