PIFC : No Cultural Barrier for Loving A Soccer
PIFC : No Cultural Barrier for Loving A Soccer
  • Reporter Cho Sung-won
  • 승인 2009.06.10 16:08
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A First Moment With

the Postech International Football Club

I have just moved into DICE, which stands for Dormitory for International Cultural Exchang. While I was talking with the residents in DICE, one of the international students said that he would have a soccer game later and asked me to play together. As I have always enjoyed any sport very much, I answered with an enthusiastic "Yes!" without hesitation. I thought that it could be good opportunity to meet more international students and get to know each other very well through sports. When the day arrived, I was quite excited to meet with them for the first time. Before I came the playground, I thought that the Postech International Football Club (PIFC) was only composed of DICE  residents, but I was wrong.
The members of PIFC, as its name implies, are not confined to DICE residents. It is a club that soccer-loving international and domestic Postech students spontaneously gathered to make. When I heard from the leader of PIFC about that, it was made three years ago, I was quite surprised that it has had quite a long history so far. In team composition, international students are more than local students and the nationality of members varies, reaching from China and Vietnam to France, Italy, Norway, and Germany. In fact, most of the international students have stayed here in Postech for only six months or at most a year. So after a year, most of the existing members leave. Despite this fact, it is surprising that the club has kept going on well continuously. The reason for this is that PIFC replaces the members who leave with the new international students. Because of different appearance, we can recognize the international students easily. So whenever the members of PIFC met new international students, they let the new students know about the club and invite them to play soccer together if they are interested. This is the how PIFC has managed to thrive.

Teamwork in PIFC

When I joined PIFC for the first time, I never expected that it would have such good organizing ability. My reason for thinking so was that PIFC is a team that consists of people who have different cultures and races. However, I came to fully feel that people can get along very well by just putting a ball above race, language and culture. All that PIFC needs is enthusiasm for soccer. They shout "fighting" all the time and keep communicating with one another through eye contact. Facing challenges with enthusiasm, PIFC is ready to do anything.

A New Challenge

A new challenge came with participation in a department-level soccer tournament. Postech has been hosting this soccer competition every spring semester. Twelve teams which include representatives from ten undergraduate departments and the Graduate School of Environmental Engineering have usually have participated in tournament. So PIFC couldn't join the tournament officially since it isn't a representative of a certain department. Fortunately, as the Graduate School of Environmental Engineering gave up joining the competition this year, the organization staff allowed PIFC to join this event instead of that school. Since it was the first time for an international soccer team to join this competition, PIFC received much attention from people. PIFC had trained to maximize the strength of the team every Saturday through matches against other teams. There were three groups in the competition. PIFC belonged in C group with the Computer Science Department and the Chemical Engineering Department. Indeed, it was D-day when PIFC had its first game.

A Long Awaited First Match

PIFC’s first opponent was the Computer Science Department. It was a very important game for both parties. Because PIFC had never played before in a tournament, their strength had been veiled in mystery. The game started with the referee blowing the whistle. The weak point of PIFC was its goal keeper. As the  previous goal keeper had left just a month prior to the date of the match, PIFC had struggled to look for a new goal keeper. Fortunately, they dramatically found a goal keeper with just one day ago. With a reliable goal keeper, PIFC played a more stable defense and keen offense than they did in practice. Eventually, PIFC scored a goal at the end of first half. With this momentum, PIFC got one more goal in the second half. The game ended with the victory of PIFC. Yelling for victory in their second match, PIFC had already begun to prepare for next match in their mind.

A Great Wish to Top the C Group

Although PIFC had already been qualified to the quarter final according to the victory in the first match, the second match was very important to be top rankingin Group C. The second rank in C group were supposed to have a match against a top rank in Group A, most likely to be the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department. Since team from the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department had a very strong squad with well organized balance between defense and offense, PIFC hoped to avoid them as an opponent in the quarter final by winning their second match and taking the top rank in the C group.
However, it was not easy to defeat the Chemical Engineering team. Being tied with the Computer Science team which PIFC had beaten in the last game, they were a well-organized team that took advantage of individual players' speed as the team strategy. Unlike what PIFC had done in the first match, the offense and the defense players didn't work together in harmony and made several critical mistakes. Moreover, the starting player who took charge of the defense line was injured and complained of pain after the first half. So, PIFC replaced him with a substitute player. Because of the unexpected injury, the defense line was unstable, and PIFC just tried to kick the ball out of the penalty line and didn't have much chance to attack. As the opposing goal keeper put up a good defense, PIFC missed one point at the end of the second half. So, with the final score as 0 to 1, PIFC came in second place in the C group, and their opponent in the quarter final would be none other than the team from the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department.

We are Still Hungry for Victory

in the Quarter Final

Before the quarter final, PIFC knew that this game would be tough and hard. Since the Electronic and Electrical Engineering team was one of the best bets for the championship, PIFC had to completely prepare for the game. At first, they discussed team strategy by e-mail and reviewed the previous game to figure out which positions we were strong and weak. Second, they talked about basic skills such as passing, keeping their spot and made a further discussion about their offense route and defense-oriented strategy. On the first day of the quarter final, all PIFC members was gathered in the playground two hours prior to the time for the game and talked about the spirit and attitude to keep during the game. Also, they practiced penalty shooting in preparation for if they tied the game. PIFC really tried to do their best on a ground. But the opponent was too strong to be defeated. Especially, the right and left wing was so agile that both of PIFC side defenders couldn't catch up with their opponent. As a result, PIFC lost the game by missing 2 points. Although PIFC was defeated, they did their best and had no regrets for the result.

Enthusiatic Supporting

Contrary to the results of match, the PIFC supporters were so passionate to cheer the players up by making a banner and singing a song. Most of the international students in DICE joined to watch the game and support the players. As the organization had recognized their enthusiastic effort for cheering, PIFC supporters received the prize in the section of cheering.

Hoping for the Birth of

a Second and Third PIFC

It is very impressive that Postech has an international club like PIFC. Many students do not know that PIFC exists. Although students might be interested in joining this club, they might be reluctant to ask the international students how to participate. But if students treat them as friends, the international students would return the favor. Nowadays, many universities emphasize global leadership and it is not difficult to see foreigners around campus. Why don't we greet the international students first? I am sure that you can be a friend by just saying hello. I hope that the students get familiar with the globalized environment and the second and third PIFC will come into existence.