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World Cup Around the Globe

Posted May. 29, 2002 09:14,   


O…Economic magazine Wall Street Journal predicted that the total amount of gambling money during the World Cup is to reach 2.96 billion dollars.

The journal introduced that the World Cup will become more interesting, as people will bet money for the champion, semifinals, the most noticeable team, and the player with the most goals. World’s renowned gamblers selected the last championship winner, France, as this year’s champion.

O…According to the AFP press on the 27th, Pakistan is willing to lead the conflict with India into a peaceful atmosphere through this World Cup.

AFP quoted secretary general Ali of Pakistan’s football association, “Sports have always been a means for peace. I wish when this World Cup ends, the war between Pakistan and India will be over too.”

He showed off Pakistan’s love for football by saying, “Pakistan actually stands backward in the international field, but has great enthusiasm for the World Cup.”

O…`There is no World Cup in Brazil`. On the 27th, Reuters reported that Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro is empty of World Cup decorations this year, whereas the past World Cups had been celebrated with posters and flags on streets and walls in the city. Only 100 fans visited the airport to say farewell to the national players.

Such indifferent attitude is due to the disappointment of the Brazilian team in the preliminaries, complaints about coach Scolari, absence of national star Romario, and continuing corruption scandals within the Brazilian football association.

O…New York Times reported that there is a big issue about how the big time differences in Europe and U.S.A. will be overcome during the World Cup. In the case of New York, particularly, the 13-hour difference is to deliver most of the matches in early morning at 2 a.m. or 5 a.m. Some of the keen fans are even trying to change their lifestyle through black coffee.

Certain number of Irish citizens have presented the government with a petition that working hours should be adjusted according to the Japanese time, when Irish matches are to be held. England’s high court has taken a measure to cease legal effect on the prohibition of alcohol sales in morning time for the World Cup matches then.

O…Hundreds of British hooligans have left to Korea and Japan to watch the 2002 World Cup, reported Bangkok Post on the 28th. The daily paper quoted local press that hundreds of them had gathered in Thai tourist city Pattaya, and most of them left to Korea and Japan. However, the Thai immigration and police, who have carefully observed the British, said that “they do not seem to create much trouble”.

O…According to a local Libyan newspaper, son of Libya’s national leader Muammar Qadhafi was stopped on his way to Seoul for the FIFA general conference due to the bodyguards’ weapon possession.

President of Lybian football association, Omar Qadhafi, was to enter Korea via Singapore and Bangkok on the 26th, but his departure was denied in Bangkok, as two of his bodyguards were found to possess pistols and 10 bullets each at the airport.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com