SEOUL - North Korea's recent shelling of
a South Korean island has made hosting the 2022 World Cup in
the South even more important, FIFA vice president Chung
A week after a hail of North Korean shells slammed into
the tiny island of Yeonpyeong, killing four people and
destroying dozens of houses, Chung said hosting the football showpiece could help bring a lasting peace to the Korean
peninsula and beyond.
The five countries bidding to host the 2022 event -
South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Japan and the United States -
will deliver their final presentations to FIFA's executive
committee, who will vote for the winners on Thursday.
The committee will also choose the hosts for the 2018
World Cup on Thursday.
"There is consensus now about the importance of peace on
the Korean peninsula... because of the recent artillery
shelling on Yeonpyeong island," Chung said in Zurich on
Tuesday, where the vote is taking place.
"We're making the case that Korea needs to host the 2022
World Cup for peace beyond the Korean peninsula and in
South Korea co-hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002 and
rode a fanatical wave of support to reach the semi-finals.
Critics of the bid suggest it is too soon for the Koreans to
"Some say Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup eight years
ago so it is too soon to do it again, but remember 2022 is 12
years ahead. We're trying to stress the fact that it would be
20 years after 2002," added Chung.
"Korea has stressed the reasons for wanting to host the
World Cup was for maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula
and northeast Asia, not for commercial gain.
"We're trying to make the case that the 2022 World Cup
will be the greatest soccer festival in Northeast Asia."
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