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Suwon Samsung Bluewings suffer 1st relegation in K League football

Dec. 2, 2023 - 16:36 By Yonhap
Rodrigo Bassani of Suwon Samsung Bluewings is tackled by Seo Min-woo of Gangwon FC during the clubs' K League 1 match at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Suwon Samsung Bluewings were relegated to the second division in South Korean football for the first time in their club history Saturday, following a goalless draw against Gangwon FC at home.

Suwon Samsung finished the 2023 K League 1 season in last place with 33 points on eight wins, nine draws and 21 losses, and suffered direct relegation to the K League 2 for 2024.

In order to avoid direct relegation, Suwon Samsung had to defeat Gangwon at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, just south of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province, or have a draw against Gangwon and then also have rivals Suwon FC lose to Jeju United on Saturday.

However, the combination of Suwon Samsung's draw and Suwon FC's 1-1 draw against Jeju meant Suwon Samsung, who won four K League titles before the days of two divisions, will play in the second-tier league for the first time.

The K League introduced the promotion-relegation system in 2013.

As the 10th and 11th seeds, Gangwon FC and Suwon FC will play in the promotion-relegation playoffs next week for their one last chance to stay in the K League 1 next year.

Suwon FC also finished with 33 points, the same total as Suwon Samsung, but Suwon FC won the first tiebreaking category, goals scored, by 44-35.

Suwon FC will face the K League 2 runners-up, Busan IPark, in the two-legged playoffs. Busan will host the first match next Wednesday and Suwon FC will play at home next Saturday.

Gangwon, who ended with 34 points, will play the winner of a K League 2 playoff between Gimpo FC and Gyeongnam FC. The playoff winner will be the host for the first leg next Wednesday, and Gangwon will be the home team for the second leg next Saturday. (Yonhap)