The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives Click here to go to the current Soccerphile.com
Football News - Helicopters, Royalty, Glue and Prison Ships
Hooligan Paranoia Reaches Fever Pitch
Japanese paranoia over the feared and imminent arrival of thousands of drunken hooligans who will lay waste to the nation is strengthened with each new story of prison ships, the latest police anti-hooligan drill and paving stones being glued together that appear in the Japanese press. Richard Lloyd Parry in British broadsheet The Independent' described the present atmosphere in Japan as being in a convent full of Anglo-Saxon nuns as a fleet of rapacious Vikings appears on the horizon.' The tabloid Sunday Mirror' fanned the flames with images of armored riot police toting portable water cannon and hooligan flipping' forks. The Independent' details how residents in Sapporo are so fearful of hooligans they are refusing to rent rooms to foreigners. It seems that traditionalists in the Japanese police force have prevailed with their show of force' policy over more moderate voices, which favored a more low-key, European-style approach. Fortress Japan may not be a very pleasant place for a soccer supporter if the police force decides to test out their latest expensive equipment.
England Want No English
goings on at the Westin Awaji Hotel on Awaji Island in Japan, which will
host the England team during their stay in the country. The hotel has
been offering guests the opportunity to enter a lottery for 50 pairs of
tickets to the England v Cameroon friendly in Kobe on May 26th. However
when some residents of Japan went to book a room in order to try for the
match tickets, they were refused on the grounds that they were the wrong
nationality. English people may apply for the tickets but may not stay
at the hotel when the England team are present.
FIFA Dispute Drags On
The increasingly bitter internecine struggles within football's
world governing body continue to reach crisis point. After 11 members
of FIFA's executive board began legal proceedings against President
Sepp Blatter for financial malfeasance, Lennart Johansson, UEFA supremo
and long-time Blatter adversary called for the cancellation of the forthcoming
election for FIFA president until allegations of financial malpractice
and vote-buying had been cleared up. The in-house audit of FIFA's
finances, which Blatter unilaterally halted has now began work again after
pressure from his opponents, but its findings will not now be released
until after the election, where Blatter will be challenged by Issa Hayatou,
president of the Confederation of African Football, with support from
among others Korea Football Association chief Dr. Chung Moon Joon and
the English FA.
Prince Takamado, a cousin of Emperor Akihito and honorary president of
the JFA, and his wife Princess Hisako will attend the World Cup opening
ceremony in Seoul on May 31.
The Japanese Justice Ministry plans to use a chartered ferry to transport any arrested hooligans from Sapporo to Tokyo after the three games in the city. The Japanese authorities view the England v Argentina clash as potential public enemy number one.
Stones Glued Down
54,000 liters of glue will be used to glue down stones on 3.5 km of railway tracks in Kobe and Osaka in a US$476,000 operation in the vicinity of the cities' World Cup stadiums to prevent them being used as potential weapons by hooligans.
Niigata Coastguard Drill Wind & Water
The Japanese Coast Guard conducted an anti-hooligan drill off the coast
of Niigata employing 6 ships, a helicopter and 120 coast guards. They
practiced a scenario of subduing a party of mock hooligans'
who had taken over a Sapporo bound ferry. The helicopter's rotor
blades were used to blow the rioters over after a thorough drenching with
Troussier Gags Himself
coach Philippe Troussier was roundly criticized in the Japanese press
for his no-show at the official announcement of the Japanese squad. Japan's
sports' editors laid into the Frenchman for his perceived lack of
courage in not defending his choices and even accused him of job-hunting
in Europe, where Troussier was to attend the France v Belgium friendly.
Troussier's abrasive style and implicit criticisms of the Japanese
fighting spirit have not endeared him to the press and Japan's recent
poor form, a 3-3 draw at home to Honduras and a 3-0 drubbing away to Norway
is sure to have sharpened a few knives.
Pele of the Orient
Pak Doo Ik, North Korea's hero of the 1966 World Cup known as Pele
of the Orient' or 'Asia's black pearl' has been invited to attend matches
in neighboring South Korea during the World Cup as a goodwill gesture
on the part of the South. On his return to North Korea after his glorious
exploits in England, Pak Doo Ik spent time in a labour camp but re-emerged
to later coach the national team.
World Cup Concert
Boys II Men, Yuki Koyanagi and Anastasia will team up in a pop concert to be held on a floating pier off Yokohama's Osanbashi Bridge on June 28. The performance is invitation only and 5000 pairs of tickets will be distributed by lottery.
Croatian Flag Stolen
After the vandalizing of the Russian practice pitches in Shimizu the next mishap to befall a visiting team's training camp was the theft of the Croatian flag from outside the squad's base in Tokamachi, Niigata. The police it seems are too busy practicing anti-hooligan drills to guard teams' facilities.
Dog Meat Shelved
Plans to distribute free samples of dog meat outside Korea's stadiums seem to have been canned due to pressure from the Korean government according to reports in the Japanese Daily Yomiuri'.
Harper's Weekly' reported that restaurateurs in Korea were planning to offer "dog meat juice" to foreigners outside the World Cup stadium in Seoul.
Of course they will.
Ticket Machines Open
Tickets bought online for the final round of ticket sales in Japan became available from 12 ticket-dispensing machines across the country. Fans were able to insert their credit cards to receive their tickets. However complaints were heard from applicants who are unable to find out if their ticket applications had been processed successfully until they visited the centers.
Korean Tickets Still Unsold
As many as 250,000 tickets still remain unsold for games in Korea with less than 2 weeks to go before the start of the World Cup. The equivalent of five empty stadiums is a big blow for the Korean Organizing Committee and a telling indictment of FIFA's policy of charging the same price for tickets in Korea and Japan, which have a markedly different cost of living. A number of Korean tour companies have also canceled their World Cup tours leaving the unfortunate people who had already signed up high and dry.
Organized Fan Clubs Have Mixed Fortunes
Both Korea and Japan have been busy organizing local fan clubs to support teams playing and training in their countries. Some Japanese municipalities have been struggling to find volunteers prepared to pay the necessary membership fee of up US$60 to join up. Paraguay and Argentina are struggling to attract local cheerleaders in Nagano and Fukushima prefectures whereas Italy based in Sendai are a hot ticket.
Osaka Landmark Kitted Out
One of Osaka's most famous landmarks the Neon Glico man in Dotombori has been kitted out in the Japan national kit to raise enthusiasm among Osakans, many of who are more excited by this year's success of the local baseball team the Hanshin Tigers.
Kobe Crowd Control
The recent Japan v Honduras friendly in Kobe was a second opportunity for the Japanese Organizing Committee JAWOC to fine-tune its crowd control procedures after the problems and delays experienced by fans in Osaka for the Japan v Ukraine game. Security personnel were increased but still had problems directing obedient Japanese' fans to the appropriate station after the game.
There are no hooligans in Turkey - and that's official. Responding to
a request from Japan for information on Turkish troublemakers, Turkish
police said there were none. Trouble in the past was made up of 'isolated
incidents' and therefore there will be no violence at the World Cup involving
Upper Class Boot
David Beckham's injured foot will be protected by a special boot developed
by Adidas using new scanning technology. The boot will be partially constructed
of carbon fibre, though the upper will be made of kangaroo leather presumably
to put a spring in Beckham's stride. He is having three pairs made at
£10,000 a pair. In a necessary design move which could presage a
new style on the street, the laces will be moved from the top of the foot
to the side.
Economics and the World Cup
It is estimated each of the estimated 800.000 visitors to the World Cup
will spend between US$2,000 and $3,000 in Korea and Japan. This money
and its multiplier effect, together with hidden benefits such as future
tourism, is estimated to land Japan a 3.3 billion yen (£17bn) windfall.
In Korea one estimate is that the economy there will benefit to the tune
of more than £6bn and create 350.000 new jobs. President Kim Dae
Jung is hoping for a 5% growth in the South Korean economy in 2002.
No Drugs Please We're Korean
Newsweek reported recently that over 40 models and celebrities have been arrested in Seoul for taking ecstasy in New York! The South Korean police claim that it is an offence for South Koreans to take narcotics anywhere in the world.
No Friendship for Japan/US
There are reports of Koreans peeling away all the 'friendship stickers' for the U.S. and Japan at the Seoul World Cup Stadium's 'friendship board'. Lingering ill-feeling remains for Japan due to Japan's colonization of Korea between 1910-1945. The US maintains a force of over 30,000 troops in South Korea and is seen by many as hindering North-South reunification efforts.
Romario to J-League?
Japanese sports dailies are reporting that Brazilian striker Romario maybe on his way to the J-League after the World Cup. "He is attracted to Japan's J.League . He ardently wishes to blend his playing and football philosophy in a Japanese team and build up an invincible empire," his agent was quoted as saying. The 36 year-old Romario was omitted from the Brazil World Cup squad despite public support for his inclusion.
The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives
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