November 23, 2022 12:48
Football fans from all over the country will gather in Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul after all to see Korea play its matches in the World Cup in Qatar.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government granted conditional approval for the Red Devils, the official supporters club, to organize cheering events at the plaza.
The Korean Football Association had earlier canceled all street cheering events citing respect for the victims of the Halloween stampede in Itaewon.
A city official said the decision is conditional on the organizer ensuring public safety to prevent any accidents during the gatherings.
The Red Devils pledged to take several safety measures such as increasing the number of security guards to some 340, three times more than during the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Instead of putting the main stage in front of the statue of King Sejong as before, the organizers will put it up at a point where the plaza is wider and install additional big screens across the plaza to prevent people from converging on a confined space. It will also keep paths clear for police and rescue workers in the event of an emergency.
The cheering events will be held for three group matches on Thursday against Uruguay, Nov. 28 against Ghana and Dec. 2 against Portugal, and the Red Devils expect about 10,000 fans to gather in the plaza.
The city government is setting up a control room at the site and deploys around 270 officials there. Bus stops near the plaza will be temporarily closed during the events and subway trains will not stop at Gwanghwamun Station if the area gets too crowded.
The city government said it will deploy another 50-plus safety personnel near stations, add more buses and trains and extend their operating hours to accommodate people returning home after the events.
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