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Football News - Missiles, Fans & Britney


Son of SAM, Visas, Sky Marshals

Seoul policman in stadium.The South Korean Armed Forces will position mobile surface-to-air missiles at World Cup stadia to prevent possible terror attacks.

In addition, South Korean Air Force jets will patrol the skies over the stadia during the tournament, said First Lieutenant Kim Ki-ho of the Korean military.

The Korean government will apply strict rules to ‘suspicious persons' even though they might hold World Cup tickets. The authorities are worried about the possible influx of thousands of Chinese ‘fans' who may seek to overstay their visas after the event.

Representative Kim Un-yong claimed in an unconfirmed report that Japan had sunk a vessel carrying terrorist weapons originating from the North. Japanese diplomats denied any knowledge of the alleged incident.

Japan's number two carrier, All Nippon Airlines (ANA) has announced it will station sky marshals on flights into Japan to guard against possible terrorist/hooligan attacks.

Japanese Riot Police in 'Zero Tolerance' Drills

Japanese riot police, practicing for the World Cup, subdued a crowd of people pretending to be "hooligans". The 200 police in riot gear and biohazard suits also removed a car bomb and hazardous substances from the Ecopa Shizuoka Soccer Stadium in central Japan stadium.

English Gentlemen, honest!

For so long regarded as the ‘land of gentlemen', Britain risks being labelled the ‘land of hooligans' in Japan following intense media coverage of England's unruly fans. As a result, British diplomats commenced a charm offensive to reassure locals that most English supporters are well behaved.

Meanwhile back in Blighty a newspaper survey found more people were interested in the World Cup than the Queen's Golden Jubilee, which also kicks off in June.

A Labour Euro MP, Glyn Ford, has warned that English fans with even minor criminal records, such as a caution for cannabis possession, risk being refused entry into Japan if they are included on a hooligan register recently sent to the Japanese police.

A Scottish National Party official came under fire for suggesting that Scottish fans should support the ‘auld enemy' England during the World Cup in the absence of the Scots. A Tartan Army executive committee voted down the proposal 86-0.

No Replays, No Drinks

FIFA have banned the showing of any replays on giant TV screens in stadiums during World Cup matches.
All 20 World Cup stadiums have screens but will be barred from replaying controversial incidents or even goals.

"Giant screens in the World Cup stadiums may be used for showing live real-time pictures of the match in the same stadium, but without replays of any scenes whatsoever," FIFA announced.

FIFA also poured cold water over the idea of introducing drinks' breaks during matches in the notoriously humid June weather in Korea/Japan.

Blatter v Daily Mail

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is threatening legal action against The Daily Mail following allegations of ‘vote-buying' to ensure Blatter's election in 1998 were published in the British tabloid. Blatter is still under pressure over the multi-million dollar collapse of FIFA's marketing partner ISL. An independent audit committee will report on FIFA's finances by April 30.

Costa Fortune

Costa Rican fans have bought only nine per cent of the 6,600 available tickets in the country.

Ulsan Fans

Authorities in Ulsan have announced that groups of 500 supporters are being formed to support the four teams who will play in the city – Brazil, Denmark, Turkey and Uruguay – and lend a hand to visiting supporters. "It is a part of the city's efforts to make Ulsan a place visitors will want to come back to even after the World Cup," an official said.


The Korean Finance Ministry has asked banks to provide up to US$757m in loans to World Cup related businesses regardless of sales or length of time in operation.

Seoul Train

Discussions are still ongoing between China and the two Koreas over whether to allow Chinese fans to pass overland through North Korea to attend World Cup matches in the South. Over 100,000 Chinese fans could visit South Korea for the finals. North Korea also hopes to schedule 10 flights a day between Pyongyang and Seoul to attract Chinese and South Korean visitors to its huge ‘Aiirang' festival held April through June.


Smoking sign.Signs at Seoul's World Cup stadium would seem to indicate that the weed would be tolerated during games despite pleas from the WHO to respect No-Smoking Day, which falls on the same day as the opening match at the stadium.

Britney Spears to Wear Clothes

A new Pepsi ad, which will appear during the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, will feature Britney Spears. The pop idol will don a Pepsi soccer strip for the advertisement.

Change in South Africa

The coach of South Africa, Carlos Queiroz, resigned due to strong pressure from the media after the team lost to unheralded Mali at the quarterfinal stage of the African Nations Cup. Jomo Sono, manager of South African Premier League outfit Cosmos, will replace him.

South Africa will play in South Korea against Spain, Paraguay and Slovenia in Group B of the World Cup.

TV News

FIFA will assume the television rights and ensure coverage of the World Cup, if Kirch Media the company, which holds the television rights, goes bust. Kirch has been having a tough time avoiding being broken up to pay off billions of euros of debt.

Just the Ticket!

FIFA, soccer's governing world body, has exposed a 2002 World Cup ticket scam.
Advertisements in newspapers in Europe offering tickets at inflated prices were phony, according to a FIFA spokesman.
Only 4,000 English fans applied for tickets through the official fan club compared with 40,000 who applied for France 98, meaning most applicants should receive tickets Some fans seem set to follow the tournament from the beaches in Thailand and fly over if England make the latter stages.
Fears are also growing over the large number of tickets set aside for corporate guests. Competing teams receive only 8% of the total ticket allocation.

Worldcup or World Cup?

Photo of Seoul stadium sign spelled wrong.A dispute has broken out over the naming of Seoul's World Cup stadium. The stadium is emblazoned with ‘Worldcup', an "error" pointed out by the Korea Times. The row has even reached the Blue House – Korea's Presidential office.

Training Camps

Slovenia will make its training base on the Korean island of Cheju from May 28-June 14.

History Lessons

The South Korean Foreign Ministry has approved of an understanding with Tokyo to set up a joint historical study group aimed at resolving the ongoing bitterness in Korea triggered by a controversial Japanese history textbook.

Paul Gascoigne Getting On

Middlesbrough v Everton FA Cup 2002.
Sky Sports commentator on Gascoigne: "He can't get up and down like he used to."

Argy Bargy Revisited

In the latest bout of fan violence in Argentina, at least 30 people were injured before the match between River and Nueva Chicago.

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