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Spain v. South Africa

Glow balls
Glowing footballs for sale outside the stadium

FLH headed off to Taejon for this final game of the group, anticipating a lively encounter between two teams playing great football. South Africa needed a draw, and I guessed they would come out with a will to win, while Spain had already qualified, and could relax into their game….

Rob Barton, our host in Seoul
Rob Barton, our host in Seoul

We decided to thank Rob B, who has been a fantastic help to us here in Korea, with a ticket to the game. His first ever game of football, it turned out. FLH is proving to be a vehicle for initiating people called Rob into the exhiliarating world of live football games.

Earlier in the day, Rob’s mother-in-law treated us to a delicious home-cooked Korean meal at her home in Taejon, and afterwards we hopped in a taxi, and joined the traffic jam inching its way to the stadium.

A Spanish drinker
A Spanish drinker in the VIP lounge

For us, it was corporate hospitality again. (name withheld) has been a genius at getting us tickets for the games that we were interested in – and again came up with the goods for us. Rob was, I think, quite overwhelmed by the occasion, as he’d not been in that kind of formal environment for a long time. He’s been living here in Korea for a couple of years, and before that was in North Korea as an aid worker. A table full of smoked salmon reminded him suddenly of his time as an intern in Washington DC, and another world.

After the game, we were interviewed by Mark Tompkins, who is filming a video diary for UEFA during the tournament. We’d had just a little too much corporate hospitality to be anything other than stilted in our delivery, but if you want to see the interview, click this link an choose the video diary entitled “Mark Tompkins explores Daejon ahead of Spain’s match against South Africa.” You’ll need the Real Video Player to view it.

Later on, Phil went off filming fans… while Rob helped me recover from my interview nerves with a helpful glass of Chivas Regal. Here are some of the things that Phil captured:

Spanish bullfighting supporter
click here to download the MPEG movie clip

South African trumpeter
click here to download the MPEG movie clip

Spanish ladies
Spanish ladies dress with style

South African flag
South African flag in the stadium

A fan filming the fans as they leave on the bus
A fan filming as they leave on the bus

Written by on Thursday, June 13th, 2002

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.