Although South Korea’s first Qatar World Cup match ended in a goalless draw against Uruguay last night, an estimated 26,000 supporters expressed their joy and excitement during a long-awaited watch party held at the Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.
Many seemed to release all their pent up emotions from the pandemic restrictions and the recent Itaewon tragedy that killed at least 158 young people in a crowd crush during Halloween festivities. Fans of South Korea’s football team chanted and clapped, singing tunes like the Korean folk song “Arirang” throughout the match.
Red Devil, the official fan club of the South Korean national football team, initially canceled the event after the Itaewon tragedy but on Nov. 19, announced that it will still take place. Authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to the streets yesterday during the World Cup watch party.
Photographer Lee Kang-hyuk was at the plaza to capture fans’ excitement.
Follow Junhyup Kwon on Twitter.