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(World Cup) S. Korean fans descend on Qatar in black masks to cheer on Sonny, Taegeuk Warriors

All News 21:39 November 24, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

AL RAYYAN, Qatar, Nov. 24 (Yonhap) -- It's not just South Korean captain Son Heung-min donning a black mask on the field. Dedicated fans of the Taegeuk Warriors have brought their own masks to Qatar to show support for their skipper at the FIFA World Cup on Thursday.

Fans of the South Korean national football team pose in custom-made mask in show of support for captain Son Heung-min before South Korea's Group H match against Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, on Nov. 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

Two 26-year-old friends, Yoon Seok-won and Shin Jeong-cheol, said they built their own masks with a 3D printer. They have been here since Tuesday and attended the France-Australia and Germany-Japan matches before the South Korean match against Uruguay at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, just west of Doha.

"We wore France and Japan shirts for those two matches, and they both won," Yoon said, sporting a No. 7 Son shirt. "Our team is guaranteed to win today."

Fans of the South Korean national football team pose in custom-made mask in show of support for captain Son Heung-min before South Korea's Group H match against Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, on Nov. 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

Yoon predicted a 2-0 win for South Korea, with Son getting one of the two goals. Shin was a bit more conservative, saying South Korea would prevail 2-1.

Another Korean fan wearing a mask, Shin Wang-cheol, said he wanted to do whatever he could to show Son that fans were behind him.

His friend, Lee Kang-hyun, added, "This mask will now be Son Heung-min's signature. We thought it'd be more meaningful for us supporters to wear a mask, too."

A family of four from India, with father Zakir (L), poses with Uruguayan and South Korean flags before the two countries' Group H match at the FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, on Nov. 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

A family of four from India had mixed rooting interest. The father, Zakir, said he and his wife were Uruguay fans, but their two daughters would be rooting for South Korea because they are fans of BTS, the global K-pop sensation.

"It's just a game. The spirit is more important," Zakir said with a smile.

South Korean fans wait for the start of their team's Group H match against Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup as captain Son Heung-min warms up at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, on Nov. 24, 2022. (Yonhap)
South Korean fans wait for the start of their team's Group H match against Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, on Nov. 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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