Soccer fever

Soccer is a big deal in South Korea. Being incredibly patriotic already, soccer is a natural outlet for all patriotic Koreans (which is basically all Koreans).

Ever since Korea co hosted the 2002 WC with Japan and they made the semi finals, soccer and soccer players have cult celebrity status in the country. The country virtually shuts down during matches, and everywhere you look, all you can see are thousands of supporters clad in red, complete with stick on tattoos, horns and bang sticks. Typically, this being Korea, the supporters are organised, and the games are frequently interspersed with organised war cries, with the most popular being “Daehan Minguk! clapclap clapclap clap”

South Korean soccer fans cheer for the South Korean World Cup soccer team as they watch a live TV broadcast of the 2010 World Cup Group B soccer match against Greece in Port Elizabeth, at Seoul City Hall Plaza June 12, 2010- REUTERS/Lee Chung-Woo

Saturday last week, fresh off the exhilarating opening night of the WC,where SA drew with Mexico and came just a few cm away from what would have been a famous victory, saw SK’s opening match against Greece. We choose to watch with thousands of other supporters at Seoul’s City Hall Plaza fan park. With literally thousands of people, absolute pandemonium broke out for each of Korea’s two goals, and the persistent rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of all involved.

 Last week Thursday saw Korea suffer a hammering at the hands of the Argentinians. We watched closer to home, in the local Wa stadium on a big screen. Filled close to capacity, the supporters did not let the mere fact that they were losing get them down, and they supported the “Red Devils” to the final whistle and beyond.

South Korea vs Argentina - Wa stadium

Today is the crunch match against the Nigerians, and it promises to be another festive evening, regardless of the result. Before that, I will be hoping that SA can save some face against the troubled French, and regardless of the result, will be shouting for them this evening.

Celebrating Korea's lone goal against the Argentinians

Published in: on 22/06/2010 at 2:44 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice to see the ‘gees’.

  2. Get a small idea of what home must be like!

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