“KIM KIM KIM!”
‘KIM’, a cheering slogan for Kim Min-jae (Napoli), familiar yet unfamiliar to Big Bird (Suwon World Cup Stadium), rang out. It was a cry for referee Jung Dong-sik (43), who is famous for being a “Kim Min-jae look-alike.”
The 12th round of K League 1 2023 between Suwon Samsung and Jeonbuk Hyundai held at Suwon World Cup Stadium on the 10th. The match, which drew attention as Suwon coach Kim Byung-soo’s debut match, ended with Jeonbuk’s 3-0 victory.
There would have been a bigger score difference. Right before the end of the game, which was already a winner, Jeonbuk winger Moon Seon-min received a pass from Lee Dong-jun and opened the Suwon goal with a sliding shot. However스포츠토토, after receiving the ball, the assistant referee raised the flag and declared offside.
The referee communicated with the VAR referee’s office, and eventually started an on-field review to judge directly by watching the video. The time the referee was in front of the monitor increased. At this time, ‘KIM’, a slogan for Kim Min-jae, came out from the Jeonbuk supporters’ seats.
This is because the referee on this day was Jung Dong-sik (43), who was the exact opposite of Kim Min-jae. Jeonbuk fans shouted ‘KIM’ to mean ‘recognize it as our goal’. It was a scene filled with the fans’ sense and wit.
Referee Jeong Dong-sik visited Naples from April 26th to May 2nd to film content with Shoot for Love, a soccer YouTube channel. This is because Napoli, which has been leading the Italian Serie A since the beginning of the 2022-23 season, was likely to win the match against Salernitana (1-1 draw) on the 30th of last month. Referee Jeong went to Naples, Italy to film Shoot for Love and the moment.
He is already famous in Korea as a referee who resembles Kim Min-jae, and his appearance has become a hot topic in Italy as well. When he went out to downtown Naples, local fans flocked to him asking for autographs and photo shoots. Even when the locals recognized that he was not Kim Min-jae, they welcomed him by taking commemorative photos.
The attitude of referee Jeong Dong-sik, who knows how to have fun, was also pleasant. He always smiled at the Napoli fans’ furious reaction. He mingled with local fans and sang the Napoli cheering song, enjoying the ‘Kim Min-jae effect’ properly.
This visit to Naples made him even more famous in Korea. The most recent Shoot for Love content featuring referee Jung Dong-sik recorded 1.8 million views in 5 days. The video he came out was well-received, such as the response that it was ‘fun’.
Referee Jeong Dong-sik, who returned from Naples, returned to his job on the day of his arrival, watching K-League 2’s Bucheon FC-Chungnam Asan match as a VAR referee. In the match between Suwon and Jeonbuk, where he served as the referee, his return to Korea was welcomed by domestic fans with the slogan ‘KIM’.
Referee Jeong Dong-sik, an 11-year veteran, won the Korea Football Association (KFA)’Referee of the Year’ in 2022. He is well-received even in his main job for his smooth game management.