Korea cancels street cheering plans for FIFA World Cup

The Korea Football Association (KFA) is set to cancel plans to organise spaces for fans to cheer in the streets at the upcoming FIFA World Cup, following the crush that has killed at least 156 people in Seoul.

The organisation has said that it will withdraw its application for use of Gwanghwamun Square in the capital city for public viewing and mass gatherings during the November 20 to December 18 tournament in Qatar.

The decision was reached because of the October 29 crush in the Itaewon district.

“We have been working with the city of Seoul to organize street cheering, but after long discussions, we decided it was the wrong thing to do this time,” a KFA statement read, as reported by Yonhap.

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“We felt it was inappropriate to have public cheering in Seoul less than a month after the Itaewon tragedy.

“We’d like to pay our respects to victims and their families.”

This week, KFA President Chung Mong-kyu led a delegation from the governing body to pay respects to the victims of the disaster.

The group, including respective men’s and women’s national team managers Paul Bento and Colleen Bell, visited the plaza in front of Seoul City Hall.

“There is no way to contain my sadness,” said Chung.

“On behalf of the football world, I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families who are heartbroken.

“We hope that those who are injured will recover as soon as possible.”

The crush occurred in Itaewon which was hosting a Halloween celebration, which was attended by approximately 100,000 people.

It was one of the first outdoor events where no facemasks were required since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crush happened just over a week after the Olympic Movement was in Seoul for the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly, held from October 18 to 21. –Insidethegames

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