The K League will resume play on Thursday following a three-week break during which K League clubs competed in the AFC Champions League and the FA Cup.

Table-topping Ulsan Hyundai will be aiming for redemption after being eliminated from the AFC Champions League.

Ulsan Hyundai has led the K League table since the beginning of the season. Ulsan currently leads the league with 23 points after seven victories and two draws.

Ulsan increased their advantage in first place with a 3-1 victory over Daegu on April 9, scoring all three goals in the second half after going down early from a penalty in the seventh minute and demonstrating their outstanding condition ahead of the AFC Champions League.

Daegu, on the other side, is ranked tenth in the K League. Their triumph in the Champions League came as a surprise given their struggles in the K League, where they had two victories, two ties, and two defeats.

Daegu is trailed only by the Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Seongnam FC.

Ulsan will meet the Suwon Samsung Bluewings on Thursday, hoping to gain another three points, while Daegu will face the Pohang Steelers at the Pohang Steelyard, hoping to see if their success in the Champions League would translate to the domestic field.

Incheon United will also strive to regain form after falling out of the FA Cup following a devastating 6-1 loss to K League 2 team Gwangju FC at Incheon Football Stadium on April 27.

With five victories, three draws, and one defeat, Incheon sits second in the K League rankings, five points behind Ulsan. This season has been significantly more successful than their No. 8 finish previous season.

Incheon will be hoping for redemption when they meet Suwon FC on Thursday at Suwon Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi.

On Thursday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will meet FC Seoul, Seongnam will face Jeju United, and Gimcheon Sangmu will face Gangwon.

K League to play with official World Cup ball

The South Korean professional football competition’s operator confirmed Monday that the official FIFA World Cup ball will be used starting this week.

The Korea Professional Football League (K League) announced that “Al Rihla,” the World Cup match ball for this year’s tournament in Qatar, will be featured here, beginning with matches on Thursday. It is also the holiday for Children’s Day.

Rihla, which means “the journey” in Arabic, is Adidas’ 14th straight World Cup ball. Its design is influenced by Qatari culture and architecture, as well as the host country’s flag.

FIFA said when the ball was presented at the end of March that Al Rihla goes quicker in flight than any other ball in World Cup history.

Al Rihla is also the first FIFA World Cup ball to be constructed entirely of water-based inks and glues, with environmental sustainability as a top emphasis.

The 2022 World Cup begins on November 21 and concludes on December 18. It will be the first World Cup to be staged in the Arab world and the first to be contested outside of May, June or July.