South Korea greeted with ultimate insult upon return home from World Cup exit

The Rio Report

They are calling it the 'plane of shame' these days.

It is the moment a national side heads off for a World Cup finals armed with their new kits, fresh luggage and high hopes, but return prematurely before the last 16 begins with their tails tucked firmly between their legs.

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Han Kook-Young (R) consoles Son Heung-Min of South Korea after a 0-1 defeat to Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between South Korea and Belgium at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 26, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

There will be plenty of unhappy countries heading home without justifying their stay in Brazil, especially when you think of England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Japan and Ivory Coast.

But some fans accept losing better than others.

South Korea reached the last four of the World Cup finals under Guus Hiddink when they hosted the tournament with Japan in 2002.

As such, their football-obsessed country were banking on another joy ride in South America, but ended up party to Asia's worst performance at a World Cup finals in 24 years with Japan, Iran and Australia all failing to clear the first hurdle.

South Korea's tournament began with a 1-1 draw against Russia before going downhill with a 4-2 loss to Algeria and 1-0 reverse against Belgium sealing their fate.

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When South Korea's ashen-faced squad posted for a photograph after flying from Sao Paulo to Seoul on Monday, they were greeted with flying toffees from some fans unhappy with their performance.

It basically sent out the message "go eat a toffee" or "get lost". Or something even stronger than we can't print on a family friendly website.

“I am sorry that we weren’t able to return the love and support shown by our people during the World Cup,” said the South Korea coach Hong Myunbg-bo.

“It was due to my deficiency as a coach that we didn’t put up the desired results. But our players all have a bright future ahead and not everything was lost from this tournament."

It could have been worse with Italy being pelted with tomatoes after the 1966 tournament.

We wonder if Wayne Rooney would have chewed on few of the flying treats if he had been with the South Koreans. South Korea left the tournament with toffee, and ended up with more when they flew home.

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