Korean Firm Takes Over Belgian Football Club

Seoul-based marketing firm Sportizen is taking over A.F.C. Tubize, a football club in Belgium's second-tier league.

Sportizen CEO Shim Chan-koo (right) shakes hands with A.F.C. Tubize chairman Raymond Langendries during a signing ceremony in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis Sportizen CEO Shim Chan-koo (right) shakes hands with A.F.C. Tubize chairman Raymond Langendries during a signing ceremony in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis

Sportizen CEO Shim Chan-koo, Raymond Langendries, chairman of A.F.C. Tubize, and Belgian Ambassador to Seoul Francois Bontemps attended a signing ceremony on Monday that made the move official.

Langendries said he hopes many Korean prospects can use Tubize as a stepping stone to achieve their dream of playing in the European big leagues and also that Tubize can reinvent itself as a strong team with the energy from such young players.

Tubize is a small city 25 km southeast of the Belgian capital Brussels and has a population of roughly 24,000.

"Belgium has long served as a stopover for many non-European players who dream of making it to the big leagues in Europe thanks to its proximity to France, Germany and the Netherlands, and the fact that there is no cap on the number of foreign players for each team," Shim said. "This deal may offer a new way for young Korean talent as they find it difficult to join Korea's professional league at a young age." 

Tubize plans to sign two or three Korean players this year and an additional three next year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 05, 2014 10:59 KST