[Photo: Gwanghwamun Plaza during the ‘2014 Brazil World Cup’.]
After the unbelievable tragedy of the increase in crowds in Itaewon, Koreans are rethinking “safety”.
According to reports on November 4, the city of Seoul will consider the ‘safety’ of holding a traditional ‘Street Cheer’ event for the upcoming ‘Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup‘, usually held in Gwanghwamun Plaza in front of a large screen, broadcasts the matches of the Korean national team. Normally, tens of thousands of fans and spectators gather at Gwanghwamun Plaza, as well as other major spots including Seoul Plaza, Gangnam Yeongdong-daero and Shinchon, during the World Cup period to hold events. This ‘Street Cheering’.
Now, a few days after the Itaewon tragedy, the city of Seoul will make a decision for the first time on whether ‘Street cheering’ is “allowed”.
It has been announced that due to construction, gatherings in Gangnam’s Yeondong-daero, in Shinchon, and in Seoul Plaza will not be allowed during this year’s World Cup. The only remaining ‘Street Cheering’ venue is Gwanghwamun Plaza.
Over the years, the city of Seoul has worked closely with Korea Football Association to promote these ‘Street Cheer’ events. But as of August 2022, after the expansion of Gwanghwamun Plaza, an advisory committee includes representatives from the county traffic office, law enforcement office, police, traffic management, and traffic management. event was responsible for overseeing events and gatherings at the Plaza.
In fact, during the ‘World Cup 2018 Russia‘, more than 25,000 spectators were present to cheer the Korean match against Sweden, dispatching many police and traffic management teams to Gwanghwamun Plaza. Until recently, it was predicted that the number of spectators could grow exponentially during this year’s ‘Qatar World Cup’.
Some civilians reacted to the news with, “It would have been better if the entire event was cancelled. It’s not appropriate to continue with such a big event as we haven’t gotten over the trauma of the Itaewon tragedy.” However, others argue, “The fact that the city is considering canceling the event is a sign that they don’t feel prepared or equipped to deal with large crowds.”