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Another Heart-Pounding Night in June

Posted June. 10, 2005 06:50,   


“Dreams come true once again.”

On June 9, when the Korean national football team set an “epoch-making record” of qualifying for six straight World Cup finals, Korean citizens seemed quite happy though they had barely slept the previous night. They never got bored as they watched the Korean team score a splendid volley of goals.

The “Red Devils,” the official supporters of the Korean national football team, expressed their excitement by saying, “[June 9] was the day when the deep emotion and joy felt during the 2002 World Cup was revived.”

They gave up street cheering, as the match was not broadcast on big display screens near Gwanghwamun areas of Seoul. However, they stayed the night together in an exclusive café for Red Devils members in Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

Kim Jeong-yeon (33, female), one member of the Red Devils, said that the café was “full of excitement, with people continuously cheering and clapping hands.” She also added that the victory was “a brilliant achievement for the Red Devils, and for all football fans.”

Pubs and bars around Jongno, Gangnam and Shinchon areas of Seoul were crowded with young people enjoying a “football boom.” Big saunas had more guests than usual.

Pictures of the match against Kuwait on major portal sites recorded more than one million hits on this day. All the top five keywords were football-related ones, including “Park Joo-young,” “video clips of football matches,” and “the match against Kuwait.”

Netizens celebrated the Korean team’s qualification for the World Cup finals, saying, “We are proud of our players who did their best in the steaming heat. Taking this opportunity, we should set our next goal at winning the World Cup.” Some of them expressed their regrets at North Korea’s failure to qualify for the World Cup finals with the South.

The use of cell phone text messaging services increased explosively around 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in the morning when Korea secured a ticket to the World Cup finals. KTF announced that the number of text messages sent around that time reached over 330,000, up from approximately 270,000 exchanged during the same period on Thursday of the previous week.

SK Telecom also saw the use of text messages increase by 70 percent compared to the previous week. A KTF official said, “The result is attributed to the ‘thumb generation’ sharing their excitement at Korea’s qualification of the World Cup finals through text messages.”

In Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju, a total of 135 students at the Goryong Information and Industrial School, a juvenile reformatory school run by the Ministry of Justice, watched a rerun of the Korea-Kuwait match along with their teachers on the afternoon of June 9. Students shouted in joy, taking off and waving their shirts, every time the Korean team scored a goal.

Chang Se-geol (40), a teacher of the school, said, “Those players doing their utmost in the match will be a strong motivation for our students to grow to be responsible members of society.”