Football in Seoul

Football is one of the most popular sports, both in terms of participants and spectators, in Seoul. Seoul had several of South Korea's leading football clubs and biggest football stadium - Seoul World Cup Stadium.


After the Royal Navy introduced the football in 1882, there was a footballing boom throughout the Korea. that saw many football clubs and school teams formed by the 1910s. Also in Seoul, many famous football clubs like Bulgyo Cheongnyeonhoe (불교청년회, Buddhist Youth Club), Geongang Gurakbu (건강구락부, Health Club) and Joseon Football Culb (조선축구단) were founded between the 1910s and 1920s, and they usually had a rivalry against football clubs in Pyongyang, the second biggest city in Korea. In 1933 Kyungsung FC, named according to Seoul's alternate name, was formed and it was the only Korean club which won the Emperor's Cup in Japan.

In 1957, Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. visited Seoul. This was first foreign professional football club that visited South Korea They had 3 matches.


Current clubs

Tier League Club Home Stadium Period
Top K League Classic FC Seoul Dongdaemun Stadium
Seoul World Cup Stadium (North Seoul)
2nd K League Challenge Seoul E-Land FC Seoul Olympic Stadium (South Seoul) 2015–present
3rd National League N/A N/A N/A
4th K3 League Seoul United Seoul Olympic Stadium
Hyochang Stadium
Madeul Stadium
2007–2009, 2012
Seoul FC Martyrs Gangbuk Public Stadium 2009–2015
Jungnang Chorus Mustang Jungnang Public Ground 2012–present
Tier League Club Home Stadium Period
Top WK League Seoul WFC Hyochang Stadium, Seoul Olympic Auxiliary Stadium 2004

Defunct clubs

Club Home Stadium Period Notes
Kyungsung FC Seoul Stadium 1933–1953
Seoul FC Mokdong Stadium 1973–2003 Korean National Semi-Professional Football League Champions: (1978 Spring, 1980 Spring, 1985 Autumn, 1988 Spring, 1989 Autumn)
National Football Championship Winner: (1980, 1982, 1986)
Yukong Elephants Dongdaemun Stadium 1983 First professional football club based in the Seoul.
But club's franchise was Seoul+Incheon+Gyeonggi
1984–1986 Yukong Elephants separated Incheon+Gyeonggi and based in the only Seoul.
But they didn't have home matches in Seoul.
Ilhwa Chunma Dongdaemun Stadium 1989–1995[1] First professional Football club based in the only Seoul and had home matches in Seoul.
Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso
LG Cheetahs
Dongdaemun Stadium 1990–1995[1] Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso demanded that original franchise should be Seoul.[1]
But board of K League didn't allow and launchecd at Chungcheong franchise.

Moved to Seoul in 1990 from Chungcheong.

Yukong Elephants Dongdaemun Stadium 1991–1995[1] Moved to Incheon+Gyeonggi in 1987, and then returned in 1991.
Seoul Pabal FC Eunpyeong-gu-rip Stadium 2007–2008 K3 League founding club member.
Nowon Hummel FC Madeul Stadium 2008–2009

[1] The board of K League forced the three clubs Ilhwa Chunma, LG Cheetahs and Yukong Elephants out of the city in 1996.
Therefore, Seoul's 3 clubs had to leave Seoul for another city in accordance with the K League's decentralization policy and relocated not their own wills as belows.
Ilhwa Chunma relocated to Cheonan, LG Cheetahs to Anyang and Yukong Elephants to Bucheon.


※ Only counted FC Seoul 1990–1995 seasons, 2004–present in Seoul franchise / Ilhwa Chunma (Currently Seongnam FC) 1989–19995 seasons in Seoul franchise / Yukong Elephants (Currently Jeju United) 1991–19995 seasons in Seoul franchise.


Tier League Club Champions Runners-up
Top K League Classic FC Seoul 3 (1990, 2010, 2012) 2 (1993, 2008)
Ilhwa Chunma 3 (1993, 1994, 1995) 1 (1992)
Yukong Elephants 0 1 (1994)
2nd National Semi-Professional Football League Seoul FC 5 (1978 Spring, 1980 Spring, 1985 Autumn, 1988 Spring, 1989 Autumn) 1 (1978 Autumn)
3rd K3 League Seoul United 1 (2007) 0
Club Winners Runners-up
FC Seoul 2 (2006, 2010) 3 (1992, 1994, 2007)
Ilhwa Chunma 1 (1992) 1 (1994)
Club Winners Runners-up
FC Seoul 1 (2015) 1 (2014)
Club Winners Runners-up
Seoul FC 3 (1980, 1982, 1986) 0


Club Winners Runners-up
Ilhwa Chunma 1 (1995) 0
FC Seoul 0 1 (2013)

Women's Domestic

Tier League Club Champions Runners-up
Top WK League Seoul WFC 0 1 (2013)

Seoul derbies

The Seoul derbies started in 1990, with competing three football clubs: Ilhwa Chunma, LG Cheetahs and Yukong Elephants also participated in 1991. This derby was called Dongdaemun derby and first derby proper in K League. Many Korean football fans called Dongdaemun Derby because three clubs used Dongdaemun Stadium as their home together. The highlight match of the derbies was the K League 28-round match between Ilhwa Chunma and Yukong Elephants at Dongdaemun Stadium on 9 November 1994 This match was also famous for both teams' great goalkeepers: Valeri Sarychev of Ilhwa Chunma and Aleksandr Podshivalov of Yukong Elephants from Lev Yashin Club. Yukong Elephants beat Ilhwa Chunma 2–0 in this round, and took the derby with a one-point difference. The Seoul derbies stopped in 1995, due to the board of K League forcing the three original clubs out of the city in 1996.

Dongdaemun derby

Dongdaemun derby was consisted of Ilhwa Chunma vs.LG Cheetahs,[2] Yukong Elephants vs.Ilhwa Chunma,[3] LG Cheetahs vs Yukong Elephants[4] in Dongdaemun Stadium

This derby was put to an end in 1996, due to K League's decentralization policy which relocated the 3 clubs.[5]

Ilhwa Chunma vs LG Cheetahs (1990–1995)

Competition Matches Ilhwa Chunma wins Draws LG Cheetahs wins Ilhwa Chunma goals LG Cheetahs goals
K League 35 12 12 11 47 44
League Cup 5 2 1 2 5 6
Total 40 14 13 13 52 50

Ilhwa Chunma vs Yukong Elephants (1991–1995)

Competition Matches Ilhwa Chunma wins Draws Yukong Elephants wins Ilhwa Chunma goals Yukong Elephants goals
K League 29 13 13 3 36 25
League Cup 5 2 2 1 5 4
Total 34 15 15 4 41 29

LG Cheetahs vs Yukong Elephants (1991-1995)

Competition Matches LG Cheetahs Wins Draws Yukong Elephants Wins LG Cheetahs Goals Yukong Elephants Goals
K League 29 9 11 9 32 34
League Cup 5 2 1 2 8 5
Total 34 11 12 11 40 39

FC Seoul vs Seoul E-Land FC

Seoul E-Land FC was newly founded on April 15, 2014. This club will use Seoul Olympic Stadium in South Seoul. Korean football fans hope to Seoul derby with FC Seoul using Seoul World Cup Stadium in North Seoul.

Derbies with clubs not based in Seoul

Kyungsung FC–Pyongyang FC rivalry

Super Match

Main article: Super Match

Gyeongin derby

FC Seoul vs Incheon United
Competition Played Seoul wins Draws Incheon wins Seoul goals Incheon goals
K League Classic 28 13 10 5 50 31
League Cup 8 2 4 2 7 6
FA Cup 3 2 0 1 7 5
Total 39 17 14 8 64 42


Notable footballers




Seoul is the location of the headquarters of Korea Football Association.

See also


  1. "Lucky-Goldstar wants Seoul franchise." (in Korean). Kyunghyang Newspaper. 1983-08-19.
  2. "서울 연고지 일화-LG 자존심 대결" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. 24 November 1992.
  3. "프로축구 일화, 유공 우승 향방 가를 최종 혈전" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. 8 November 1994.
  4. "신라이벌 탐방(2)-LG 치타스 vs 유공 코끼리" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. 24 March 1996.
  5. "일화 유공 LG, 내년에 서울연고 없어 Dongdaemun". Monthly Football. December 1995.

External links

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