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


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

 Strange 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.
When the hotel administration was asked to explain, they replied that the ban on English people was being done at the request of the England team!
The offer closed on May 15th and the guests had to stay there before June 30th 2002.
The ad for the ticket offer was run in the English language newspapers in Japan. The non-English guests will also receive team memorabilia and English tea will be served.

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.
The dispute stems from the earlier collapse of FIFA's marketing partners ISL and ISMM with debts that Blatter claims are limited to US$31.4 million. These figures were challenged by FIFA General Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen, who put the losses at closer to US$115 million and also accused his fellow Swiss, Blatter of making unsanctioned payments to supporters.
Zen-Ruffinen was subsequently banned from speaking to the press by Blatter and removed from financial control of the world soccer body.
‘Blattergate' is set to run and run even after the World Cup has left town.

Royal Visit

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.
It will be the first official visit by members of the Imperial family to South Korea. The South Korean President was hoping that the Emperor would attend but continuing political differences will mean that this will not take place.

Prison Ships

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 water cannon.
Police officers in Japan's venue cities were also issued with 14cm pen-like tear gas canisters as part of their ever-increasing armory of hi–tech weapons.

Troussier Gags Himself

 Japan's 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.
Troussier's squad had one or two surprises with the inclusion of France '98 veterans, defender Yutaka Akita and forward Masasahi ‘Gon' Nakayama. Teen heart throb Shunsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Nanami were the two most notable omissions.

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.
North Korea also announced it would send its national team to play a friendly in the South according to a report by Park Geun Hye, a politician who recently visited North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il.

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.

"We plan to develop canned dog meat tonic juice, which football fans can enjoy in their stadium seats," said Choi Han-Gwon, the head of an association of dog meat restaurants.

"They will enjoy it instead of Coke."

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 Turkish fans.
Two English fans were stabbed to death in Istanbul ahead of the UEFA Cup semi-final match between Galatasaray SK and Leeds United in 2000. Ali Umit Demi was sentenced to 15 years in jail on 1st May 2002. Five others were given sentences of under 4 months each.

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.
David Beckham Books

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.
However, some studies suggest that countries with already stagnating economies which have hosted the World Cup in the past thirty years have actually seen a fall of 1% in GDP.
Japan spent £13bn on the Winter Olympic Games, but has seen a 30% decline in the local Nagano economy since then. Both host countries have spent large sums of money on infrastructure for the 2002 World Cup and will see 50% of the total revenues come their way, but there may be fewer domestic tourist and business travellers during this time as they try to avoid the crowds. Hidden costs such as these may mean less income than Korea and Japan bargained for.

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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