Feud hots up as co-hosts jostle for top billing

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The Independent Football

South Korean organisers for the 2002 World Cup finals are confident their 10 stadiums will open in time but say they still have to resolve a dispute with co-hosts Japan over the name of the event.

South Korean organisers for the 2002 World Cup finals are confident their 10 stadiums will open in time but say they still have to resolve a dispute with co-hosts Japan over the name of the event.

With less than two weeks to go before applications for tickets to the event are sent out, the co-hosts remain locked in a battle over whose name should go first on printed materials.

"This has become a very sensitive issue between Korea and Japan," said Lin Byung-taik, spokesman for the Korean Organising Committee.

Japan's organising committee has riled the Koreans by vowing to change the word order on tickets sold in Japan so that the name "Japan" precedes "Korea".

"Fifa has reconfirmed again and again what the principles regarding the order of names should be," Lin said, insisting that the title "2002 Fifa World Cup Korea/Japan" was the name agreed.

The feud echoes the fight both put up in 1996 when they sought to be the sole hosts and Fifa opted for an unprecedented co-hosting arrangement.

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