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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 30, 2006

Excitement builds for upcoming soccer World Cup

By Jeff Chung

Something really big is coming up this summer it happens only every four years, and it's not the Olympics.

It's the FIFA World Cup soccer's equivalent of the Super Bowl which takes place in Germany this year.

Soccer in Germany! Soccer as a sport may not be as popular as baseball, basketball and football in the U.S., but on a global scale it is by far the most popular.

In 2002, Korea and Japan jointly hosted the FIFA World Cup with the opening game played in South Korea and the closing game in Japan. The South Korean team made history in 2002 as they advanced to the final four and lost to Germany. No Korean team in the history of FIFA World Cup has advanced to the final four. The North Korean team did advance to the top eight once in 1966, in London.

During that World Cup, whenever the South Korean team played, hundreds of thousands of people crowded the streets of Seoul. It was a sea of red shirts emblazoned with "Red Devils," as everyone cheered "Dae Han Min Gook," which means Republic of Korea.

Compared to the U.S., South Korea is still a reserved, conservative country. In the U.S., we often say hello to strangers in places such as elevators. This almost never happens in Korea. But, when the South Korean team scored, the fans that lined the streets would high-five and hug the people next to them. Hugging complete strangers!

This was a rare moment when all Koreans of all ages, from all socio-economic classes, men and women came together as one. This year, fans are learning a special dance to go with their cheers. It is hard to describe, but people line up in a shape of a pyramid and move in unison.

In Hawai'i, Koreans packed into cafes and restaurants to watch the games. KBFD with partners such as Hawaii Prince Hotel, CPB, NGN, Sony and Korean Air held an event at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Ballroom that people still talk about.

The Korean team defeated Italy on Monday morning, Hawai'i time, to advance to the top eight. The next match was against Spain on Friday at 8 p.m. That day, the Hawai'i Red Devil fans started lining up at 3 p.m. for KBFD's live broadcast at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

Once inside, fans found three 12-foot video screens, along with free food, Red Devil shirt giveaways and door prizes. The ballroom was at maximum capacity, and some fans were turned away.

The game went into a nerve-wracking tie-breaker. When the Korean team scored, everyone jumped up cheering, some punching the air with clenched fists. I thought a few would have a heart attack as their bodies shook with adrenaline. The Korean team won that day and advanced to play against Germany.

This year's FIFA World Cup will start with the opening game between Germany and Costa Rica on June 9 in Munich. For 15 days, teams will play to advance into the top 16 starting on June 24, quarterfinals on June 30, semifinals July 4 and the final game on July 9. KBFD will air the FIFA World Cup in Hawai'i live in Korean. Most matches kick off early in the morning, at 6 a.m. and/or 9 a.m.




Tonight at 7: Shocked and furious, Yeon-kyong seeks a second opinion. Yeon-kyong finally tells Yoon-ho the truth after the photo exhibition.

Tonight at 8: Yeon-kyong visits the hospital for more tests, but she's distressed when she sees end-stage cancer patients. Yoon-ho stays by his wife's side as she goes through more tests.



This new series follows Seung-hee, a promising film director who finds true love.

Starring Kim Rae-won, Jung Ryuh-won and Park Si-hoo.

Normally airs at 7:50 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, and re-airs at 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.: Seung-hee, whose debut film won honors from film festivals, meets Hye-soo at the party celebrating his win. It's love at first sight. But his happiness is short lived when Hye-soo is killed in an accident. Fast forward three years: Hye-soo meets Bok-sil, who looks just like Hye-soo.

Tuesday at 7:50 p.m.: Bok-sil finds out Seung-hee is a movie director, and apologizes to him for her rude behavior. Bok-sil goes to town to sell vegetables but is caught in the rain. Bok-sil decides to go to Seoul to make money to pay for her mom's surgery.



Wednesday at 7:50 p.m.: Tae-soo leaves town but finds Jung-ja waiting by the car with her suitcase. Tae-soo's mother ignores Jung-ja's father when he asks her to take Jung-ja as Tae-soo's wife. Mi-ja runs into Hae-young on an icy road.

Thursday at 7:50 p.m.: Hae-joo introduces Mi-ja to Director Kim, and Mi-ja embarks on her road to become an actress. Sun-hee and her mother decide to move to Seoul. Hong-jo finds out that Mi-ja has become an actress. Mi-ja's father shows up at Mi-ja's movie set.



Friday at 7:50 p.m.: Shin drags Chae-kyong away from Yool, and the two have it out. Shin's assault against Yool is leaked to the press, landing Shin in trouble with the emperor. To quiet bad press, Shin attends a public function with Chae-kyong.

Saturday at 7:50 p.m.: Shin and Chae-kyong take a trip alone to the summer palace. Shin and Chae-kyong are driven apart again over an incident with Hyo-rin. Yool tells Chae-kyong to set Shin free.

Jeff Chung is general manager of KBFD, which televises all of the K-dramas. If you have a K-drama question or comment, call KBFD at 521-8066 or reach him at jeffchung@kbfd.com.