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Korean Football Fans Geared Up for Embracing Victory

Posted June. 17, 2002 23:37,   


A day before the second-round match between Korea and Italy, all Koreans are buoyed up by the expectation of the Korean squad’s advancement into the quarterfinals.

Daejeon, the venue for the match, is already packed with football fans coming from all across the nation.

The police expect that more than 4 million people including 1.5 million in Seoul will take to the streets to cheer their players on June 18.

# The Current State of Daejeon.

The red-clad football fans called Red Devils have come to Daejeon.

About 300 football fans have been forming a long line to get extra tickets for the match although KOWAC has continuously announced there are no tickets left.

Choi Soon-chul from Gwangmyeong city said, “I don’t need to get a ticket any more. I just want to hear the roar of Red Devils at firsthand.”

Enthusiastic football fans gathered around the Spapia Hotel, where the Korean players are staying, and shouting ‘Dae~Han Min Guk’ meaning the Republic of Korea.

# Preparation Plan for the Game and Street Cheering

As about 400,000 people or 30% of the city population are expected to come to the street for cheering, companies and government agencies have been put on an emergency state.

Lotte Department Store in Daejeon decided not to open, and a number of companies in the Deajeon Industrial Complex will not operate at night on 18th.

Daejeon city designated 6 places for street cheering and installed 16 large TV screen.

Some universities in the city have also installed big screens inside their premises so that students and citizens can watch the game and cheer together.

The Daejeon plant of Hanhwa Group is planning to display fireworks if Korea beats Italia.

The Chungnam Agricultural Cooperative is scheduling to hold a Korean Rice Festival in a hope that the Korean team would secure a place in the quarterfinals.

# Transportation and Safety Measures

Daejeon city will suspend traffic in the surrounding area of the stadium from 1 pm to 9 pm and in the Daejeon station-Chungnam provincial government section from 1 pm to midnight.

Temporary parking lots are established in the National Memorial Board, the Expo Park, the National Science Museum, Chungnam University and the Bongmyeong-Jangdae district. Free shuttle buses will be operating from 2 pm to midnight.

The city decided to operate 100 shuttle buses between the stadium and the Daejeon and Seodaejeon Stations, the express bus terminal and Yousung Hotel.

And the city will also increase the number of city buses passing through the stadium from 115 to 160.

A number of companies and schools are expected to shorten their working hours and classes on the game day.

The police will deploy 4,200 policemen around the stadium and sites for street cheering in an attempt to prevent unexpected safety accidents.

Ki-Jin Lee doyoce@donga.com mhjee@donga.com