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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Korea grinds to a halt
The exploits of the South Korea football team have overshadowed baseball
Korea's footballers have become national heroes
BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach

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England's plans for a World Cup final national holiday may have, sadly, been scrapped.

But in Korea, the authorities are already putting preparations in place for coping with the country grinding to a standstill should the co-hosts beat Spain on Saturday.

The entire nation was estimated to have supported Korea in their win over Italy, either at the ground, on the streets or at home in front of the television.

And Park Sun-sook, a spokeswoman for the President's office, hinted that Tuesday could be declared a public holiday if Korea win through to face Germany or USA in the semi-finals.

But even if it's unofficial, you get the feeling that work will be the last thing on Koreans' minds if they are involved in a last-four showdown come Tuesday.


Home from home

Watching England's quarter final defeat at the hands of Brazil was a surreal experience for the exiled English in Korea.

There was no shortage of bars in which to watch the televised clash.

But there was a real shortage of Englishmen.

Surprisingly though, the packed bar in which I grabbed the box seat featured fans of all nations exclusively cheering for England.

Though I was the only Englishman, the Americans, Poles and Germans (yes, Germans) in the bar roared when Michael Owen scored.

And they groaned either side of half-time as Brazil turned the game around.

Much sympathy oozed in my direction at the final whistle. But that was scant consolation.


Second base

Baseball, finally, is taking a back seat to football in Korea.

Koreans have followed baseball as their number one sport for years, but football fever is gripping the country in the wake of the co-hosts' remarkable progress.

Reigning Korean baseball champions Doosan Bears faced second-placed Samsung Bears in Seoul this week.

It is a game that would normally have expected to attract 15,000 fans to the Chamsill Stadium, but barely 1,000 showed up for the latest clash.


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