World Cup preview piece written for The Impartial Reporter
Koreans, like many of their East Asian counterparts, don’t do things in half measures. They’re an emotional, patriotic and jingoistic nation on all fronts. Just as the current political and military showdown with
But for many, the opportunity to look no further than their own noses is too great. “Han-googo! Han-googo!” (“
Accordingly, most peoples’ views on the beautiful game are a trifle warped. Park Ji Sung is the best player in the world. Bolton Wanderers star Lee Chung Yong isn’t far behind him. Unfortunately for them, it simply isn’t true. A Korean team is highly unlikely to lift the 2010 World Cup; North or South.
But after the tournament, things will more than likely return to normal. Any Western game featuring a Korean will be big news, but most other football will play second fiddle to baseball. The profile of the game here has certainly risen since 2002, but perhaps not to the level the local FA and FIFA would have hoped. Despite this, the government has launched an ambitious bid to host the 2022 event on their own. There’s no doubting that they have the infrastructure in place. 2002’s tournament was spread thinly over eleven cities here, each with brand new stadiums; and that was only as a co-host! With worries over
For the moment, though, the focus is on the here and now. If, after the miserable failure of Northern and