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Koreans Gather for Final Party, Expect Exciting Match with Turkey

Koreans Gather for Final Party, Expect Exciting Match with Turkey

Posted June. 30, 2002 08:16,   


“Let’s celebrate World Cup success in good spirits.”

Despite the news on the naval clash between South and North Korea on the West Sea earlier on the day, the ‘Red Devil’ cheering continued to echo throughout the country on June 29 for the third-place playoff between Korea and Turkey.

“We are here to celebrate our World Cup success in good spirits by staging a party of unity rather than pursuing a victory,” said people gathering for the last party.

Up to 4.3 million people - smaller than before but still impressive crowds - took to the streets nationwide, with many rooting for the opponents Turkey as well. Some 1.7 million gathered in central Seoul, knowing that this is their team’s last match in this World Cup.

“I feel a bit sad about that this is the last match,” said a 28-year-old Gye Myung-gook. “I am here to root for our team till the last minute.”

“I want to thank those players who have fought so incredibly well,” he went on to say. “I think this year’s tournament will be one of the best in World Cup history.”

Some 200 members of Internet club “People Supporting Turkey” were also on the scene in central Seoul, waving national flags of both countries.

“Korea and Turkey have had strong ties and this will be a match between friends,” said 26-year-old Cho Yoo-jin.

People were enjoying the festive mood, which was led to fireworks in Sejongro and Yoido in the late evening.

The party was everywhere in the country. About 200,000 people took to the streets in Gwangju where the Korean squad defeated Spain to advance to semi-finals. Roughly 100,000 people gathered before giant screens set up in Guemnamro near the provincial government building, while 40,000 fans waving their national flag in the Gwangju World Cup Stadium.

About 300,000 swarmed into the Busan Asiad Stadium where Korea picked up their first World Cup victory. The city arranged fireworks in five areas such as Haewoondae and Dongbak Island to thank people for their support as well as celebrate the advance to the final 4.

Some 600,000 took to the streets of major cities in Gyeonggi-do, while 100,000 or so joined the street cheering in Gangwon-do.

“I brought my family here to root for our team one last time,” said Kim Il-hwan, a 34-year-old man living in Chuncheon. “I really want to thank our players who give Koreans a hope through their magnificent play.”