- Title: SOUTH KOREA/UK: SOUTH KOREAN FANS CELEBRATE HISTORIC WORLD CUP WIN AGAINST SPAIN
- Date: 22nd June 2002
- Summary: VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SOUTH KOREA (RECENT) (REUTERS) MORE OF FANS KWANGJU (GWANGJU), SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 22) (REUTERS) KWANGJU (GWANGJU) WORLD CUP STADIUM VARIOUS OF SOUTH KOREAN SUPPORTERS SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 22) (REUTERS) MORE OF CELEBRATING
- Embargoed: 7th July 2002 13:00
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SOUTH KOREA AND LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVADUY2MBQFDS2SD56D605CF9VDF
- Story Text: In the past few weeks millions of South Koreans have screamed, cried and shouted themselves hoarse in support of their team during its unprecendented advance to the World Cup semi-finals.
South Korean has been in a near permanent state of euphoria since Guus Hiddink's squad beat Poland 2-0 in their opening match on June 4, 2002.
As the Dutchman is first to admit a great deal of that success is down to the enormous public support South Korean's have given the team, some say the fans are the 12th player.
Police estimated some 5 million people took to the streets to watch South Korea's historic win over Spain on Saturday which made them the first ever Asian team to make it to the semi-finals.
The 100 or so giant television screens which have been set up around the country have enabled this massive collective support to become an integral part of any South Korean match.
Fans, dressed in red and pumped up for a high-octane party arrive at public squares up to 12 hours before kickoff.
By far the most popular chant is "Dae Han Min Kuk"
(Republic of Korea) which echos throughout the country for hours and hours on any given match day.
The same chant is being heard simultaneously all over the world as Koreans not lucky enough to be at home are organising their own celebrations. Following their quarter final win over Spain, joyful Koreans flocked to Trafalgar Square in London for an impromptu sing-song. Just 24 hours earlier disappointed England fans had trooped away from the same spot after their team had lost to Brazil.
But the outpouring of South Korean emotion is understandable. Until this World Cup, the first in Asia being co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, the Koreans had not won a single match in five previous appearances at the finals dating back to 1954.
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