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The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives Click here to go to the current

World Cup 2002 - Sven Screens England


by R. Sanborn Brown

Sven: No Open Practice Days

Awaji.Residents of Awajishima, Japan, where England will have its training camp for the World Cup, have reacted with shock and disappointment to the possibility that there will be no practice sessions open to the public, according to a report in the Asahi Shinbun. Officials and residents alike assumed that they would be able to watch the team practice.

During a late March visit by Coach Sven Goran Eriksson to the site, however, these hopes were effectively dashed. Goran Eriksson, moreover, requested that a "three meter high screen" be installed along the perimeter of the fence that surrounds the ground. Worse still, the Japanese organizing committee (JAWOC) recently informed Awajishima that "it will be very difficult for persons not connected with the England team or coaching and training staff to enter the training ground."

Awajishima officials had "of course" planned on a "visitors day." The local town, which spent some US$77,000 in constructing the training facility, can now only wonder as one official did: "(If we can't even see them) Local residents will want to know why the hell we went to all the trouble of getting England to train here in the first place?!"

Awaji.In contrast, many other nations are welcoming local fans with open arms. Facilities for Denmark, which will be staying in nearby Wakayama Prefecture, are visible in part from nearby homes. When local officials asked the team if they would like a temporary screen so that they could not be watched during practice, the Danes replied that it wasn't necessary. Of the Danish officials, one local bureaucrat had nothing but praise: "They have been real gentlemen, which has helped us out in so many ways."

In Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, which will be hosting the Tunisian squad, officials noted that there is already a high wall surrounding the practice field. "We don't anticipate any problems with people watching the team, and to date the Tunisians have not pressed us with any special requests," said one official.

Both the Irish and Slovenian sides have also agreed to have open practice sessions. In Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, which will be hosting Mexico, practices will be open to the public, but a fee will be charged to offset expenses.

First Official Hooligan of FIFA 2002 World Cup

A British male traveling from Fukuoka, Japan, to Busan, South Korea, on April 19th was detained by Korean immigration officials on suspicion of being a hooligan. The forty-two year-old businessman's name appeared on a list of known hooligans, and he was thus initially denied entry into South Korea. The man was on business in Japan, and, following a request from a Korean company to run quality inspection tests on a product, made his way to Busan.

However, when immigration officials heard why the man was attempting to enter the South Korea—that he had been invited by a local company and had done identical work in Japan—he was released after an hour and allowed into the country.

Official Licensed Product

Buy this book from Amazon.Mark your calendar. The Asahi Shinbun, which enjoys a daily readership of some eight million, recently featured Japan coach Philippe Troussier in an ad touting "Songs of Korea/Japan," which is the "2002 FIFA World Cup Official Album." Troussier is photographed in black-and-white in what appears to be a locker room replete with a white board and ferro-concrete wall behind him, a sprinkler system poised above his tousled hair. Monsieur Troussier's shirtsleeves are rolled up and he is yelling: "You decided without consulting me?!" In his left hand he has an Adidas Fevernova, the official ball of the World Cup, and in his right hand, the CD. Both products are in full color. Representing Japan musically will be "B'z," "Tube," Ritsumeikan University's Mai Kuraki, and others; Korean artists will include Kim Jo Han, Park Jin Young, "and more." The album goes on sale on May 29th.

Mark your Calendar, Part II: Ayumi Hamasaki Summer Tour

The summer tour schedule for Japan's reigning pop diva Ayumi Hamasaki was announced on April 28th. The sports tabloid Sports Nippon reported that the "Ayumi Hamasaki: Open Air Live 2002" tour will include outdoor shows to be held on June 29th and June 30th on a specially-constructed stage in Tokyo's trendy Odaiba waterfront area, at which organizers expect some 40,000 hyperventilating adolescents in attendance. Hamasaki will be, in other words, performing at the exact same time as the World Cup's third place match in South Korea and, on the 30th, the Final itself in nearby Yokohama. In an article entitled "Summer Festival: Don't lose to the World Cup, Ayu!," the eagerness of the "Queen of Japan" to perform on the same day as the Final was judged "audacious." Hamasaki is, moreover, ready to "give her all to get the house rocking hard enough not to lose out to the World Cup."

Ayumi Hamazaki.That phrase—"don't lose to the World Cup"—appears four times in the article. The headline, to the letter, uses identical phrasing and verb forms employed in April headlines at the kickoff the Japanese baseball season. The timing of the dates almost makes one suspect baseball's vested interests are working behind the scenes with Hamasaki's producers.


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