The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives Click here to go to the current Soccerphile.com
THE 2002 WORLD CUP continues to ride in rough seas. Korea and Japan are still locked in a dispute over whether the Japanese Emperor will attend the opening ceremony in Seoul on 31 May next year. FIFA vice-president and head of the Korean World Cup organizing committee, Dr. Chung Mong-Joon has called for the Emperor to show up for the party:
"It is not a matter of choice but of obligation,"
steamed Dr. Chung. "The opening ceremony is like the wedding ceremony.
If the Emperor doesn't attend, it is like the bride or the groom failing
to turn up."
Japanese officials remain reticent about the Emperor going to Korea and suspect Dr. Chung of political skullduggery, as relations between the two host nations remain strained over the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to a shrine honoring Japan's war dead and a controversial new school textbook which whitewashes Japan's colonial past.
Dr. Chung has had his say in a new book entitled What I Want to Tell the Japanese!' (published in Japan as Nihonjin ni tsutaetai!') which details his version of the bitter race to stage the 2002 World Cup and how co-hosting was the end result. The book certainly pulls no punches and has some pretty negative things to say about Japan's economic and foreign policies as regards the rest of Asia. An example of the good doctor's bridge-building style can be seen in the early chapters: "The Japanese don't eat with spoons because the Koreans didn't teach them how."
Dr. Chung has also expressed his opposition to FIFA's attempts to pressurize the Korean government to close down restaurants selling dog and cat meat in time for the World Cup.
"I don't understand why Fifa has raised the issue itself. I sent a response letter at that time, saying there is nothing to worry about," Dr. Chung reassured reporters.
FIFA received thousands of letters from animal rights groups and members of the public urging them to act against the practice of eating dog and cats. Some Koreans believe dogs are an aphrodisiac and cat-juice' acts as a cure for arthritis and rheumatism. Korean restaurateurs specializing in dog meat and even the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung have all voiced opposition to the proposed ban.
FIFA has borrowed US$422m through Investment bank Credit Suisse First
Boston in the form of a bond issue against its marketing revenues for
the 2002 World Cup.
FIFA, which operates on a four-year financial cycle beginning and ending with the World Cup, usually borrows on the financial market to see it through any revenue shortfall before it's major earner, the World Cup. After a recent audit by KPMG, FIFA announced that it would be incurring no more losses from the collapse of its media partner ISL, other than the US$30m already declared.
The Japanese World Cup Organizing Committee (JAWOC) is to spend an extra US$4.5m on security for the World Cup following the terrorist attacks in the US. This brings the total budget set aside for security to over US$22m. JAWOC and the National Police Agency have announced a three-point plan to beef-up preventative measures, improve responses in the event of any attack and improve co-ordination with local authorities. As part of these plans there will be a 24-hour special search unit at all 10 venues and other tournament facilities, detailed to look for explosives and any suspect individuals.
X-rays equipment, metal detectors and surveillance cameras are to be installed at stadiums and evacuation procedures put in place with the help of the emergency services. The new security CCTV system will supposedly enable officials to identify every spectator in the stadiums.
On the evidence of the half-hearted, inadequate crowd control after the opening game at Kobe's Misaki stadium the Japanese authorities still have a long way to go.
Police tried to stop some exiting spectators from returning to the nearest subway station and attempted to usher them towards a different station instead. Police instructions were simply ignored by most fans and their lines easily breached as officers became involved in scuffling with individuals.
At the subway station itself a motley group of middle-aged security guards held back the crowds as they filed into the station.
The whole scene was chaotic and in need of a rethink to keep crowds moving without unnecessary obstruction. This may have to involve letting parts of the stadium clear before others to avoid human congestion, confusion and panic at transport points.
The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives
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