The Busan I-Park Unified Soccer Team finished as runners-up for the third consecutive year at the Special Olympics Korea K League Unified Soccer Unified Cup 2023.
The Unified Cup is a tournament organized by the Korea Professional Football Association and Special Olympics Korea, and has been held for the third year since 2021 to improve social awareness and integration of people with developmental disabilities.
Busan I-Park has been participating in the tournament for three years since its inception with a unified team with the developmentally disabled soccer team Dynamic FC. They have been runners-up in the past two editions of the tournament and won the International Unified Soccer Club Cup last year.
This time around, they are in the top group, Group A, alongside Gyeongnam FC, Bucheon 1995, and Jeju United. They won against Gyeongnam (2-1) and Bucheon (2-0), but lost 2-4 to Jeju, finishing as the third runner-up with two wins and one loss. In keeping with the Special Olympics spirit of “everyone is a winner,” Busan was officially awarded a medal with the title of “second winner.토토사이트
“We wanted to win the tournament, but we finished as runners-up,” said Jeon Chi-kyu, head coach of the Busan Unified Soccer Team. “Next time, we will work on our deficiencies and prepare a winning strategy.”
Lee Pyeong-woo, a partner athlete representative, said, “Every year the tournament gets bigger and better as it progresses,” adding, “It’s an honor to participate in the tournament with Busan IPark. Seeing everyone enjoying and rejoicing together, regardless of disability, made me realize that we are one team.”
Special Athlete Representative Shin Jae-mo said, “I feel united with my partner athletes through this Unified Cup. I felt that our unified soccer team is the best.”