Celtic avoid Korea ‘disarray’ as promoter arranges Wolves alternative

Celtic look set to take on K-League side Incheon United when they visit South Korea later this month. Both Wolves and Roma joined Napoli and Mallorca in pulling out of the summer pre-season matches in the country amid contractual issues with the promoter but Celtic did NOT follow suit, simply stating that supporters would be updated shortly.

27th May 2023. Angus MacDonald of Aberdeen and Oh Hyeon-Gyu of Celtic during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Photo Neil Hanna / Sportimage

That didn’t stop the mainstream media and even some of the earlier generation of Celtic fan sites screaming about our season being in disarray because Wolves pulled out of a bounce match for reason nothing at all to do with Celtic.

Celtic have commitments in Japan ahead of the short hop to South Korea – actually it’s a flight-time around two and a half hours! – so keeping calm and making alternative arrangements seemed like the imminently sensible thing to do, while ignoring the hysterical reaction from lazy journalists.

Hyeon-Gyu Oh during the cinch Premiership match against Livingston at Celtic Park:,Wednesday February 1, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

Promoters Stadium X have been working with Celtic to find an alternative solution for the Scottish Champions and it looks like our opponents will now be Incheon United, who finished fourth in the K-League last season.

Today Scottish Sun reports on a statement from the South Korean promote which reads as follows:

“While the visits of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Roma have been cancelled, a match between Celtic and Incheon United is still progressing.

“We are changing our original schedule and promoting a match now between Incheon and Celtic, who have national striker Oh Hyeon-gyu in their team.

“We would like to express our deepest apologies to football fans in South Korea for the cancellation of some of the matches.”

Celtic v Livingston –  Kyogo Furuhashi left is substituted off for team-mate Hyeon-Gyu Oh during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park Wednesday February 1, 2023, Photo Andrew Milligan

Before heading to Korea Celtic will take on Yokohama F.Marinos (19 July) and Gamba Osaka (22 July). Then it’s back to Glasgow for the James Forrest Testimonial against Basque side Athletic Club on 1st August at Celtic Park. Then it’s Flag Day on Saturday 5th August with Ross County the visitors to Celtic Park for the Scottish Premiership season opener.

Note that the proposed game in South Korea against Incheon United has yet to be confirmed by Celtic and as yet isn’t listed as a fixture on the official Celtic website.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. I think it is much better to play against the 2 Japanese clubs and the South Korean club rather than a so called big club from England. These clubs are our hosts as we are visiting their country. The games will be much better as they are playing in front of their own fans. Our brand will increase and contacts made with 2 friendly cultures.

  2. Irelands Eye on

    Wolves, Roma, Napoli and Mallorca were using the trip to South Korea as their main training camp during the
    pre-season while Celtic were not. Celtic’s main training camp was Japan with a 2 hour flight across to Korea more as a promotion opportunity than for a game.
    I think the lawyers and barristers would have been licking thier lips if any of those clubs had decided to break the contract they had already signed and not travelled – so looks like the Korean promoters haven’t done what they said they would do.