South Korea football team

South Korea to Consider About Not Having Crowds at the Gwanghwamun Plaza for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The fear of possibly losing their captain Son Heung-Min to an eye injury in this year’s World Cup in Qatar is not the only thing South Koreans are dealing with at the moment; They were also dealt with a Halloween crush incident at narrow alleys of Itaewon, the neon-lit nightlife district located at the busy capital of the country, Seoul. 156 local and international deceased victims and many injured persons from approximately 16 different countries were reported, leaving the world in shock and a sad end to a supposedly fun party. This prompts a question for local authorities in South Korea and other countries to contemplate the idea of having huge crowds on their streets for the highly-anticipated World Cup event that will last for a month in less than three weeks’ time.

For the past World Cups, the Gwanghwamun Plaza has always been the go-to place for street cheering as a massive screen will be used to broadcast the South Korean national team’s matches in the tournament, which in this case are against Uruguay, Ghana and Portugal in Group H. On the other hand, the tragic accident in Itaewon left many in horror as it was supposed to be a Halloween party where many spent time on putting on their costumes and be impressive. Questions are now raised for the South Korean government to redefine the standards of “Safety” and whether they should hold similar events in the future, including street cheering events during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

It is reported that other hotpots for street cheering events in the capital have been shut down for various reasons, leaving Gwanghwamun Plaza the sole public spot for massive spectators to show their support towards the South Korean football team in Seoul. During a match between Sweden and South Korea in the last World Cup, 25,000 fans turned on to cheer for latter at the plaza, and the number of spectators is expected to increase substantially in this edition.

When fans were asked about the idea of continuing the tradition of street cheering events for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, many agreed that they should be cancelled as South Koreans are not prepared to face another stampede accident.

(Photo Credits: Inside The Games)

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