Skip to main content


  • Spurs in South Korea(8)
Subscribe to newsfeed 

Spurs in South Korea

Posted on 10 July 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The first entry into what will be a regular diary item giving you the lowdown on our trip to South Korea to participate in the Peace Cup...

The advance guard comprising of your correspondent (thankfully not in picture), Marketing Manager Fran Jones, Press and PR Manager Peter Secchi, along with Player Liaison Officer Allan Dixon came to from the land of nod a couple of hours before landing on our Korean Air flight KE 908.

The purpose for the early arrival is to run checks on the facilities and make arrangements ahead of the main group's arrival on Tuesday afternoon.

I doubt very much it was intended for our benefit, but Land of Hope and Glory was being played through the PA system as we taxied along towards the terminal before, after baggage collection, we were met by two of the Peace Cup organisers who accompanied us to our hotel base in Seoul.

Fans making their way to Seoul for the tournament should note that there will be a Peace Cup information desk in arrivals at Inchon during the course of the tournament.

As we were determined to remain awake to get in sync with Korean time, Ream and Wan from the Peace Cup suggested we should partake in a spot of Korean Barbecue in downtown Seoul. Built into the table were a couple of grills and raw meat was bought along for cooking.

It was then high time to crash before a series of meetings scheduled for the Sunday.

The meetings to prepare for the arrival of the players and coaches went without a hitch and a smoothly run visit should be in order, but we'll let you know.

The evening was taken up by our first game of the season. We trotted along to the Seoul World Cup Stadium to take in the clash between FC Seoul and Pohang in what was the final game of the K-League season.

The stadium - scene of the opening ceremony in the 2002 World Cup - is a bit special. With a capacity of 65,856, the venue is roughly similar in appearance to the City of Manchester Stadium - only bigger - or a giant Reebok Stadium.

Of the ten stadiums built in South Korea for the shared World Cup, only two are now profit-making. This is one of them but not only because of the football - there is a shopping centre and cinema built in, with weddings also catered for. The K-League attracts average attendances of around 12,000.

This game, for which we paid 8,000 won (about £5) for a ticket behind the goal, well exceeded the average with a gate of over 48,000. Pohang, if they won, could have clinched the title if another result had gone their way. But this fairly quickly became academic.

FC Seoul, with the Portuguese Ricardo pulling the strings in midfield, went ahead on 15 minutes through local hero and South Korean international Park Joo Young who went on to net a hat-trick on his birthday in what resulted in a 4-1 win for the home side.

The most fascinating aspect of the evening for us was to sample the atmosphere at a K-League game. As mentioned before, we were stationed behind the goal and the players were each given an elaborate introduction on the most high-tech big screen I have ever encountered.

The noise level of the crowd was recorded on the screen, along with the temperature and, believe or not, the speed the goals went in at. For example, Park's first goal was registered at 107km/hr.

There were sort of conductors at the front of the stand with loudhalers leading the chanting and, you would never get this in the Premiership, they insisted everyone stood up during the course of the game. While we obviously didn't understand the songs, a few were sung to familiar tunes like Doh, Ray, Me from the Sound of Music and the Runaway Train.

The pretty young and mixed crowd really did get into it and most lit sparklers at the end as a way of saying goodbye for the season.

There were a number of England shirts worn in the crowd, as well as a few Manchester United ones - the Spurs shirts will probably emerge over the next week!

It is off to check out the Suwon Stadium - where we play our first two games - tomorrow, as well as the training facilities and we'll have pictures of these in the next diary entry.

From Richard Hubbard in Seoul