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Monday, 1 July, 2002, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK

World Cup diary: Korea

By Stuart Roach
BBC Sport Online's man in Korea

Korean commentaries had always threatened to make games hard to follow for foreign fans watching on television during this World Cup.

But there was a fond familiarity in the local commentaries.

With many football phrases failing to translate into Korean, the English original is usually adopted.

A shot from any range is accompanied by the scream "shoooooooot", or a save by the instantly recognisable "goalkeepah".

"Centering", for a cross, and "header" are other constant phrases in the Korean commentary box.

When a team misses badly, the cry is "Aaaaaah", the derogatory kind exchanged by rival fans in the English game.

When a team is unlucky to miss, the "Aaaaaah" is the gentler sound the Bisto Kids used to make.

But the most memorable phrase came during the commentary for England's win over Argentina.

A long and undecipherable line of chat was in full flow when cameras cut to a close-up of Michael Owen.

"Aaaaah, bow wonder", said the commentator.


The sight of youngsters kicking a football around the Korean streets was rare before this World Cup.

But now it seems you cannot move without tripping over youngsters playing with a World Cup replica ball - or any ball they can get their hands on.

It's a sure sign that football is back in business in Korea.

With Korea's K-League kicking off just a week after the World Cup, interest in the game is sky high.

And the word on the street is that it is here to stay.


Korean fans are still learning the beautiful game.

Most watched open-mouthed as Brazil roared to victory over Germany in Sunday's World Cup final.

But some of them are still getting to grips with the basics.

Evidence was supplied by one enthusiastic fan, who turned to me and asked: "Are Brazil the team in yellow?"


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