‘Challenge for the championship’ Klinsmann will play Iraq in the final Asian Cup warm-up match on January 6th next year

Korean national soccer team.

The national soccer team led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann will play the final mock test against Iraq ahead of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on the 23rd, “We will play a friendly match against Iraq at the New York University Abu Dhabi Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 10 p.m. on January 6, 2024 (Korean time).”

A KFA official said, “Due to the conditions of the stadium facilities, we are currently reviewing whether to allow spectators. However, it will be broadcast live,” he said, explaining that it will be an evaluation match like usual.

The Korean national soccer team, which has finished second only four times since winning the inaugural tournament in 1954 and the second tournament in 1960, is aiming to win the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Accordingly, starting on the 26th, the European and K-League players, who are on break, will gather at a hotel in downtown Seoul to conduct training. The team plans to focus on checking their physical condition and fatigue level and maintaining their condition through weight training and conditioning indoors.

Then, on the 28th, the final list of 26 players to participate in the Asian Cup will be revealed. AFC expanded the final entry for this tournament from 23 to 26. Participating teams will register 23 of the 26 players submitted to AFC as players for each game, and the remaining 3 will sit on the technical seat and watch the game.

Players participating in the Asian Cup will depart for Abu Dhabi, UAE, on January 2 next year to adapt to the time difference and local environment. Players playing in Europe move directly to Dubai and join the national team.

According to KFA officials, Asian Cup regulations allow players to be called up from the Monday a week before the start of the tournament, so the squad can train in full form from January 2nd.

The Klinsmann will undergo maintenance during an evaluation battle with Iraq in Abu Dhabi and then enter Qatar, the site of the decisive battle, on January 10.

Korea, placed in Group E of the Asian Cup, will play its first match against Bahrain on January 15 at 8:30 p.m. Then, there will be the second match against Jordan on January 20th at 8:30 p.m. and the final group match against Malaysia on January 25th at 8:30 p.m.

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