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Littering, Drunken Behavior Mar Street Cheering

Posted June. 28, 2010 11:37,   


Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall was turned into a garbage dump as people began leaving Saturday night after cheering for the national soccer team.

Given the letdown after the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay and the rain, mature behavior that had been shown in previous street cheering was largely absent.

Seoul Plaza and nearby sidewalks were cluttered with raincoats, umbrellas, empty alcohol containers and cheering gear such as stick balloons left behind by an estimated 65,000 people who watched the game.

Some of them tried to clean up the area by picking up garbage for more than an hour, but many immediately headed home as if unaware of such efforts. The amount of garbage littered at the plaza was 55 tons.

Kim Tae-do, head of cleaning for the city’s Jung district, said, “This was the worst street cheering in public cooperation among the four previous instances.” Yeongdong Road in front of the Seoul COEX in the south side, where 80,000 fans gathered for street cheering, was also filled with heaps of trash. The garbage collected by the Gangnam District Office after the game exceeded 20 tons.

Then there were the displays of public drunkenness. A 40-something man who was drinking after the game at a bar near Seoul Plaza Sunday morning ran amok and hit a 50-something police officer who tried to stop him. As a result, the officer will require several months of medical care for his injuries. The drunk was charged with obstruction of justice.

Police also reported drunk driving. A 25-year-old man in a BMW drove over the median early Sunday morning while drunk, crashing into a taxi and passenger car heading in the opposite direction.

The taxi driver and his passenger were killed and three others were seriously injured. Police said the suspect was driving home with a blood-alcohol content of 0.103 percent after watching the game with his friends at a bar in the city’s Cheonho district.