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

Category: Korea

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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England qualify

Dour game. Job done. Enough said.

Au revoir two former world champions

So then farewell France and Uruguay… seeing the two of you play in Busan, and the torrid 0-0 draw that was the result, I can’t say you’ll be missed. The Uruguay team should by now have secured lucrative careers in Hollywood, while the French failed to score in four and a half hours of play, and with three top scorers in their respective national leagues – frankly c’est incroyable.

FLH phone home(page) updated

FLH phone home(page)
These Korean phones do everything…

…except allow us to figure out how to make a phonecall. Phil even had to retrieve our phonecard with a pair of tweezers. We got a mobile instead. And still can’t figure out how to use eighty percent of its functions. Ah well, at least we can make and receive calls now…

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China v. Brazil, Seogwipo

Four stars for four World Cups
Four stars for four World Cups

It has long been an ambition of Phil’s to see Brazil play live. While I am not nearly the fan that Phil is, the thought of seeing Brazil was possibly the most enticing football-viewing prospect I could imagine, although I didn’t rate China’s chances much. Still, as a result, the game promised to have goals aplenty, and after our first goalless game, I was looking forward to seeing Brazil put a few away with style…

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Deadly Jeju

Korea, listen up!

Teach your youth to swim, not just to play football!

Phew, that was a long way from China
Phew, that was a long way from China

I’m serious – Chongwon beach will claim lives again and again until the people who venture into the water can find their own way out. There’s a sandbank half way along the beach where it is possible to wander forty metres out into the ocean and splash about in the breakers as they hit the shallows. Which is all very well, but there’s also a deceptively strong longshore drift which moves along from east to west, dragging people sideways off the bank…

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Ferry ride to victory, Argentina lose to England at last

After more cities than I care to mention we beat out of Pusan on a ferry-full of Brazilians destined for the island of Jeju where Brazil were taking on the Chinese, and within an hour of leaving the shore England were kicking off against the Argentine team, ghosts ‘n’ all.

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We look forward to watching Argentina v England on a boat headed for the island of Jeju.

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Early moments proved to be nerve wracking and that was nothing to do with the football. The TV in the restaurant would not tune into the channel that we thought we needed. This proved to be pre-match panic. What we needed was a sharp decision from the manager… who turned out to be the waitress. She tuned the TV into a crisp picture and received deep applause from the gathered crew. Wicked, we were in. Brazilians, English, Koreans, one Uruguyan supporting Argentina and our ball settled in for the game… Damn, I wanted England to win, damn, so did the Brazilians and in the spirit of our international ball I greeted the Argentine supporter with a hand to his arm and guess what? He fell over screaming and yelling. Here we are moments later:

Argentine supporter and myself
What ensued was a fantastic night in…

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Futbel Livingham celebrates first Birthday

At the first World Cup that has had a torch ball-type-thing we celebrated the idea’s First Birthday. Rob had told the Bar manager in Pusan it was my birthday and that my name was Futbel Livingham. This produced much celebratory staff attentions with accompanying fried squid ‘n’ cocktail, and more importantly the announcement on the PA for “Futbel Livingham Birthday”. It was a proud moment for the ball and its journey.

Myself, Futbel, with sparkler

On behalf of ‘footballs leaving home’, I receive the treatment.

Back a the hotel, things got a little raucous…

Big up the little guy

By Phil

Body-surf or web-surf?

A quick note to say that we’ve been to see China v. Brazil yesterday… after an eventful day on the beach here on beautiful Jeju island… full story to come when we get back to Seoul.

Chongwon Beach
Is there a better place to see Brazil play?

Right, off to body-surf instead of web-surf… well what would you do if you were in my place?

Busan Foodan Football

And so to the main event… our first live game of this World Cup, and the stadium in Busan. France v. Uruguay – the current World Champions against the first World Champions. As a non-aligned party, I was simply looking forward to the prospect of a scintillating game of football, with both teams needing a win to keep their championship hopes alive.

The Ball in Busan
The Ball arrives at Busan stadium

With our tickets in our pockets, we made our way to the Busan stadium; a giant jellyfish nestling beautifully in the hills outside the city. We joined the throng filing into the stadium, looking forward to getting the Ball in to a ground at last. Or so we thought…

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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.