Excitement has riden high in Seoul in recent days, given the Korean national football team’s victory over Greece in the FIFA World Cup. In fact, it was the first victory of the game. Soccer, or what the rest of the English-speaking world calls football, is very popular in Korea. In fact, it is quite possibly the most popular sport with baseball coming it at a close second. If you were at the COEX Mall, Seoul Plaza, or any other big public space on Saturday, you would have seen a sea of red shirts. Red is the colour of Korea’s national team.
For the benefit of foreigners here, British author and journalist Michael Breen has authored a short guide on how to take part in the ongoing festivities appropriately. You can access it here. As he writes:
“There are three basic guidelines. The first is to watch World Cup matches in which the South Korean team is playing. The second is to watch them on screens in public, the larger the space the better. The third is to wear red, except ― and this is important ― on days when you are supporting your own country’s team. (The nationalist not only respects he who supports his own nation but views foreigners who put Korea above their own rather as communists used to look upon democratic socialists ― as useful idiots).”