World Cup Diary
South Korean politicians jump on bandwagon following victory over Poland
Wednesday 05 June 2002
* Harold Wilson quipped that England only won the World Cup when there was a Labour government and blamed his General Election defeat in 1970 on England's World Cup loss to West Germany. Now South Korea's politicians are vying to exploit World Cup fever in the build-up to elections on 13 June. The former Prime Minister, Jin Nyum, said: "Although Guus Hiddink was distrusted at first, he has saved Korean football. I was criticised too, but I made the economy stronger," he said, lighting his pipe and slipping on a Gannex coat.
* Singapore have announced a programme aimed at joining in the fun in 2010. "Goal 2010" has been launched with the aim of qualifying as Asia's fifth-best team. Watch out for the Noodle Boyz...
* The Polish ambassador to South Korea, Tadeusz Chomicki, tried to be diplomatic when a Korean scribe asked him about the Poland defender Tomasz Hajto's status as the dirtiest player in the Bundesliga with Schalke 04. "He does not find pleasure in eliminating his rivals, but sometimes he responds too tough and a lot of guys who meet him on the field fall off the wall."
* South Korea's slogan for the new stadium in Seoul ("Asia's biggest stadium") is not quite right. With a capacity of 65,000, it not only falls 7,370 short of the final venue in Yokohama, Japan, but comes nowhere near the 100,000 seats in North Korea's Pyongyang national stadium.
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