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[World Cup] Red Devils seek mass street cheering for World Cup

Official supporters club for national soccer team asks for use of Gwanghwamun Plaza

Nov. 18, 2022 - 12:47 By Yoon Min-sik

The official supporters club for the South Korean national soccer team is seeking to organize mass street cheering events at Gwanghwamun Plaza in central Seoul, but prospects remain unclear as of now in the aftermath of last month’s Itaewon tragedy.

The Red Devils submitted an application to the Seoul Metropolitan Government to use the square on Nov. 24 and 28, and Dec. 2, when the national team is scheduled to play in the FIFA World Cup against Uruguay, Ghana and Portugal, respectively.

If the team moves on to the knockout round, the permit could be extended to the dates for the subsequent games.

Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min, who is the captain of the South Korean national soccer team, trains at the Al Egla training facility in Doha, Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup. (Yonhap)

While it has been customary to use major squares and stadiums for such events during international sporting events held overseas, the South Korean government decided to cancel this year’s street event out of respect for the victims of the Oct. 29 Itaewon crowd crush that took 158 lives.

However, criticism has risen that banning the World Cup festivities after the weeklong national mourning period for the disaster ended is excessive.

The Korea Football Association, the governing body of soccer and futsal in South Korea, has said it plans to cooperate with the official supporters club’s attempt to revive the street cheering events, although “nothing has been decided yet.”

Seoul Metropolitan Government will decide next week whether the megasized gatherings in the street will be allowed.