The picture that says it all

The picture that says it all
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

A South Korean soccer fan protests against what he considers to be the referee’s unfair judgment after South Korea’s national soccer team lost to Switzerland in their World Cup Group G match as they watched the match on a screen in Seoul, Saturday, June 24, 2006. Switzerland defeated South Korea 2-0. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

It’s a great picture, and regardless of any refereeing decision it sums up the feeling of let-down after the earlier euphoria. Now it’s all over, here are a few links:

Two stories from the BBC on Korean world cup fandom: the high initial expectation and the girl who had mum send her hanbok over for the occasion.

Independent observers, while enjoying the general enthusiasm of Red Devil fandom had a more measured assessment of the team’s likelihood of success: here’s the BBC again, while even the team coach said they didn’t deserve to win.

The Chosun’s positive spin on Park Ji-sung’s diving expertise is noted by Cathartidae, who has some other good posts here, here and here.

Meanwhile, Korea’s defeat at the hands of Switzerland was seen as a clear case of biased refereeing by some netizens (spurred on by newspaper articles such as this gem in the Donga Ilbo), not quite showing the public-spirited internationalism that some people see in Red Devil fandom. The Joongang Ilbo is one of the few English-language Korean newspapers to have the story about netizens lobbying FIFA for a rematch, while I hear that much of the other press is talking about how graceful the fans are in defeat. For a discussion of the specific application of the offside rule check out Jeff’s ruminations (though I’m afraid I can’t comment on whether the analysis is correct); the Marmot has some posts here and here.

But to leave the subject on a positive note, the Guardian votes the South Koreans the Best Fans of the competition.

But my special prize goes to the South Koreans. The bizarre noises they make with their instruments, their colour and their enthusiasm are really refreshing. I hope they turn up to every World Cup.

Thanks to Colin Bartlett for this last link.

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