Korea's team uniform for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was revealed on Thursday by the Korea Football Association and the official sponsor Nike. The national squad will debut it for a friendly against Greece on March 6.
Manager Hong Myung-bo said, "Looking at the new jerseys, I can now feel that we're really close to the World Cup. I like it because I can easily spot the tiger emblem, which symbolizes Korean football."
The new home kit features red shirts and blue shorts. In international competitions which take place in a third country, such as the World Cup, "home" teams are arbitrarily designated and are given the right to select which uniform they wish to wear.
Korea has been named an "away" team for their first match against Russia, and as a "home" team for the two subsequent matches against Belgium and Algeria. The away kit will be released just before the World Cup kicks off in June.
Since 1986, red has come to symbolize the Korean national team, whose official fan club is known as the "Red Devils." Whenever new uniforms were unveiled in 2004, 2006 and 2008, the hue of red chosen became more vivid each time.
Kwak Keum-joo, a professor of psychology at Seoul National University, said, "In essence, sports competition is about a psychological flight of confidence. Red is an aggressive and enterprising color, so players can unknowingly benefit from a confidence boost by looking at the red uniforms of their teammates."
The new uniform also reflects the climate of World Cup host Brazil. Lee Jang-hwan of Nike said, "We took into consideration the various weather conditions that the Korean players will face in Brazil."
"Since the climate in Brail is hot and humid, the breathability of the new uniform is about 10 percent better than the previous one worn during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa," he added.
The shirts have small holes for better air circulation on both sides.
The new uniform is also more environmentally friendly, as it is made with materials recycled from plastic bottles.