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Red Card for Foul Play in Distributing Awards to World Cup Contributors

Red Card for Foul Play in Distributing Awards to World Cup Contributors

Posted October. 16, 2002 22:57,   


"The success of the World Cup was made possible by all, not only by officials in managerial positions. "

Many low-ranking government workers and volunteers are upset about the way the recipients of awards are being picked by Ministry of Administration and Self-government (MASG) and Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT). The two ministries are selecting only high-ranking officials as eligible candidates for citations and medals, which will be given to those who contributed to the success of the World Cup in last June.

The MASG has recently sent out its "guideline for selection of World Cup contributors" to the localities. In the guideline, it directs the 10 localities that hosted the World Cup to select a total of 331 people, assigning 70 slots to Seoul, 30 to each of the 6 metropolitan cities such as Busan, and 27 to three other localities such as Chunjoo. In addition, it has asked for 2 eligible candidates to be picked up by each of the non-hosting localities.

The standards of eligibility, according to the guideline, require a candidate should belong one of the following categories: for candidates for medals, 15-year career officials of 4th highest level or higher with three years of direct work experience for the World Cup or its preparation; for citations, officials of 10 years` work history and 5th level or higher with 2 years of direct experience; and for citations given by the president and the prime minister, officials should have been government workers for more than 5 years with one year of direct experience and at least 6th or higher ranking.

Under the guideline, it is theoretically possible to select volunteers and/or low-ranking officials since the guideline provides that if a person contributed to the preparation and operation of the World Cup, then the person is eligible for a medal or a citation. In fact, however, the standards are not clear but at most vague. Therefore, practically it is impossible for them to be selected for those purposes.

Consequently, for example, City of Woolsan is likely to finish up the selection process by Oct. 18th, picking out mostly out of its pool of managerial officials, and will report its selection to the MASG. It is almost the same with other localities. The candidates are mostly manager-level officials thereof.

Once the lists of candidates arrive, the MASG will relay the lists, by the end of this month, to the MCT, which was in charge of hosting the World Cup. Then, the MCT, after screening of the lists by the cabinet meeting, plans to hold a ceremony next month.

But many protesting messages after messages are being posted on the electronic bulletin boards of the MASG and the localities.

A person whose ID is World Cup posted up a message on the home page of the MASG on Oct. 15th and pointed out in the message, "It is wrong to exclude the volunteers and ordinary government workers out of the candidate pool. They are the real contributors who made the World Cup smoothly run. "

A female college student, who worked as a volunteer cleaner during the World Cup, snapped, “The success of the World Cup was made possible by the sweats and active participation of all Koreans. I did not volunteer to get a citation later. But, it upsets me to hear that high-ranking officials would monopolize the awards. "

In response, one MASG official explained, “We have just acted as the law tells us to do. And, thus, all the standards are in compliance with the law. But we stressed to the localities that ordinary citizens or government worker are also eligible for the awards.”

He added, "It is hard to deny the contributions of the ordinary citizens and officials in making the World Cup a successful one. It is also true even if they are excluded this time. They will get the awards given by mayors and the Minister. "