ZURICH - Hosting the 2022 World Cup would
provide the "gateway for a new era of a united Korea", South
Korea's former Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo told FIFA's executive
committee in their final presentation on Wednesday.
Parading the bid under a message of peace and reunification,
Lee said that ever since North and South Korea were divided in
1953, Koreans had dreamt of the day their country would be
reunited and the power of football could help them do that.
In contrast to Australia's light-hearted submission
featuring a cartoon kangaroo, the Korean bid opted for a sober
presentation, with Lee not shying away from the North's recent
shelling of a South Korean island.
"As you may have noticed on Tuesday of last week we had a
clash in the west coast near the DMZ - the line dividing North
and South Korea which demonstrates why we need a special effort
to bring peace to the Korea peninsula.
"I believe we are witnessing the darkness before the dawn.
The time is right to inaugurate hand in hand the era of peace
and reconciliation in Asia and unite Korea in the heart of
The Koreans, up against Qatar, the United States, Japan and
Australia in Thursday's vote, displayed a football, signed by
players from North and South Korea, who played as a united team
in the World youth cup in Portugal in 1991.
forward Park Ji-sung said the ball was an inspirational symbol.
"I'd like to start with a question, what is football to us, - this ball is about life - and just like all of you I can't
imagine my life without football."
Chung Mong-joon, a FIFA vice-president who showed an old
family photo from the early 1950s with himself as a baby and who
has a vote on Thursday, repeated the unification message and
told FIFA: "President Blatter, honourable colleagues, let us
walk together, let us make history together."
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