June 08, 2010 11:22
The Red Devils will not lead the cheering for the South Korean national football team in the Seoul Plaza in front of the Seoul City Hall, which has become the venue for such events since the 2002 World Cup. The Seoul branch of the supporters' club announced Monday they decided not to participate "in the corporate cheering events in the Seoul Plaza due to various restrictions imposed in terms of time and selection of cheering songs."
They will relocate instead to the streets in front of the Bongeun Temple in Samseong-dong during the three matches against Greece, Argentina, and Nigeria starting on Saturday.
Events at the Seoul Plaza are hosted by Hyundai Motor, an official FIFA sponsor, and sponsored by SK Telecom. Chung Ki-hyun, who heads the Seoul branch of the Red Devils, said, "We initially planned to do the cheering rallies in three places in Seoul -- the Seoul Plaza, the Gwanghwamun Plaza, and in front of the Bongeun Temple near COEX, but the Seoul city government did not allow us to do it in the Gwanghwamun Plaza, and there were many restrictions to use the Seoul Plaza."
He said corporate sponsors insisted on a tight structure and banned "some of our favorite songs" as they are deemed representative of companies like SK Telecom and KT. "We can't support our team under restrictions that stem from such conflicts of interest," he added.
After negotiating with SBS, which hosts the cheering rally in front of the Bongeun Temple, the Red Devils are given the freedom to choose their own songs and chants there.
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