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The Ball 2002 is kicked over the Great Wall of China on its way to Korea & Japan

Month: June 2002

Hello from Japan from Oz

A word from your England correspondent making his maiden speech all the way from Cairns, Australia.

After arriving in Japan tired, ticketless and homeless, I was immediately buoyed by learning that the French had been beaten by Senegal. From that moment on started an eighteen day rollercoaster ride of Japanese culture and a feast of football that is the World Cup.

Fast forwarding two weeks from my arrival, the England bug has found it’s way into my system after managing to see two out of the three England games – but would I get to Saturday night’s match against Denmark?

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The Great Firewall of China

From now on, Beijing will not encourage the development of internet bars
Mayor Liu Qi

Sad news today… the internet cafes which helped us create and maintain this site in China are closed or about to close as a result of a fire in a PC bar in Beijing. So I guess this’ll be one of the last messages I can get through to all the good people we met in the “People’s” Republic. See you on the other side of the firewall, my friends…

Read the BBC news report here, or if you live in China (where the BBC’s site is blocked) email me and I’ll send you a copy.

Harte to believe

Irish supporter in full regalia
Joe Docherty, one of ‘The Arklow Jesters’ in full regalia

Our guesthouse is currently full of Irish, who have descended on the place in force to support their team. Before the game, as they prepared for the confrontation with Spain, all was smiles and optimism…

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There is nothing like the World Cup

There is nothing like the World Cup to bring out the xenophobe in even the most enlightened of us. The classic always used to be that African teams were “defensively naive,” with additions, famously from Big Ron who was standing in for HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. With a new century comes another classic. Orientals are short. During a Reith Lecture I heard on the radio the other day, one that was occasionally interrupted by the commentary on some match featuring the Belgiums (sic), I learnt that the entire population of the Orient, if stood on one another’s shoulders would not be as tall as Jan Koller. So join in and start slagging the world…

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One and one and one is three…

… and three is a magic numbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Three nil to the Engerlund!
Three nil to the Engerlund!

Jeepers creepers, how good is it back home? Ex-pat bar in Korea booted along good and proper. English songs a plenty and a victory for our boys.

We’re not going home

click here to download the MPEG movie clip

Not only did another defender stick one in the bag o’ onions, well… with a little assistance from the Danish keeper, but Owen opens his World Cup score sheet and… jeepers, bleeding creepers… HESKEY slipped one in! The Danes though, had little in response.

Bring on the Brazileros.

Come on you England

Well, save my own nervous excitement, I am well removed at the moment from any English fervour for tonight’s game, but will be heading off shortly to an ex-pat bar in Seoul for the game and hopefully a good crowd. Could be a home from home?

Never mind the jubilee
Happy Jubilee ma’am (thanks to Limpfish for the use of this image)

I am cheered though by reports from England of mass St. George support and hope for a lancing of the Denmark dragon, which would mean we’d have to get over to Japan for the next game.

Can anyone send photos which we could put up here from Blighty? It’d be beautiful to have a little home representation.

Michael, I dare you, stick a hat-trick in.

The e-World Cup

The World Cup should also be an opportunity for us to demonstrate the high standard of our information technology to the world. In this way, it will be remembered as an e-World Cup.
– from one of Kim Dae-jung’s recent speeches


The World Cup matches are screened in the subway trains

Since we’re here running a multimedia weblog, I thought I’d take the opportunity to see what was going on in the digital world here in Korea. This is a report of my discoveries so far.

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Japan, Belgium, Korea and US qualify

Who’d have thought it?

FIFA must be as pleased as the supporters – three countries where football is still in its infancy are through to the second round. Can’t be bad for the competition. Or the advertising revenue, either, come to that…

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The Brazilian contingent make some noise.

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I thought all the qualifications were well deserved – the Portuguese played negative football in the first half, and paid the price – though I struggle to remember a team so effectively shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. Poland were as good as their word, and helped the Koreans relax by scoring two early goals… effectively guaranteeing Korean qualification. And then Korea did the Amercans a favour by putting them through. Gotta love the irony.

Seoul is booting off at the moment – Koreans celebrating like they’ve won the cup. Which, of course they haven’t. But it hardly matters – they’ve played entertaining football and I applaud their style. Even if they get no further in the competition, they’ve proved that Asian football can no longer be dismissed as second-rate. I rest my case with the Korean goal today. Bergkamp and Gascoigne eat your hearts out.

CNN interview FLH

CNN set up for the interview at Seoul stadium
CNN set up for the interview at Seoul stadium

More media action for the FLH team today, with CNN whisking the two of us off to Seoul stadium for an on-camera chat with host Tim Lister. Unfortunately, yet again we couldn’t get into the stadium, so the producer decided that we’d film on the grass in front of it.

Would it become a battle of the acronyms?

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Watch the full interview with Phil, Chris and The Ball outside the stadium in Seoul.

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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….

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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.