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World Becomes One In Acclamation

Posted June. 01, 2002 09:07,   


As `the first World Cup of the 21st century` opened on the 31st, all the eyes gazed at Sangam-dong Seoul World Cup Stadium, where the opening ceremony and match were held.

The stadium was surrounded by people from around the world in a festival. 100,000 citizens and foreigners gathered around the stadium to enjoy various events and the World Cup’s grand opening.

65,000 spectators, who entered the stadium in orderly manner from 4:30 p.m. on the day, all became one in celebration while the opening festival, which fused Korean traditional culture with high-tech information and communication, and the France-Senegal opening match progressed.

Those who could not be present at the scene enjoyed the same excitement on TV and watched the historical World Cup opening in Korea.

O…There was continuous shouting of `Korea!` around the stadium for the whole day.

As Korean people gathered to cheer for Korea, foreigners also cheered for their national teams.

“I’ve come to see the first World Cup in Asia. England is definitely going to win,” said Andrew (42) from England.

Two Frenchmen wrote `Z`, representing Zinedane Zidane, on their chest and said, “It’s too bad that Zidane’s not playing. We hope to see him at least from the final 16.”

O…Various cheering methods of different people added more fun. Clement (55), who came to cheer for the French team in the opening match, wrote `France` in Korean on a flag and shouted out, “France is going to win!”.

Manuel (57) from Mexico wore a Mexican traditional hat, and publicized about his team to other foreigners.

When Chris (25) from Senegal was asked, `Would Senegal win against France?`, he answered confidently and jokingly, “We’ll be polite and beat them by 2 to 1.”

O…65,000 spectators passed through 100 security stands, which were divided into sections for foreigners, disabled, and natives, and filled the seats within 2 and a half hours in orderly manner.

Although the audience waited in lines from 3 p.m. on the day, they maintained good order despite the hot weather.

After yielding his front place to a family who brought children, Kim Young-Ik (Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul) said, “How much would children want to see the stadium? I feel good about what I did.”

O…In Seoguipo city, Jeju, `Chilsipri Plaza` hosted `2002 Green Concert` to celebrate the World Cup’s opening from 7:30 p.m. on the 31st.

Citizens, who participated in the event, rejoiced the opening of the global festival, while listening to performance of Modern Pops Orchestra and other invited singers.

O…5,000 citizens gathered at `Pusan Station Plaza`, Pusan, from 7 p.m. and celebrated the opening of the Korea Japan World Cup.

Kim Seong-Min (37) said, “I couldn’t sit alone to enjoy the excitement, so I came to Pusan Station where many people came together. Korea seems to have a good chance, just as all the citizens are hoping.”

O…In Daegu as well, over 1,000 people gathered in front of a large screen in Dongin-dong, Chung-gu, to watch the opening match being broadcasted live.

Also, a large `outdoor fashion show` took place at the same time to uplift the World Cup spirit, while 1,000 citizens watched.

Police stationed 3,300 policemen and 800 volunteers around the Seoul World Cup Stadium from 11 a.m. in defense against possible emergency.

Police divided 6 sections around the stadium to hold out a tight guard, and banned private vehicles within 1 kilometer from the stadium.

Also, two units of police force were deployed in prevention of hooligan riots during the match.

Dong-Yong Min sys1201@donga.com mindy@donga.com