2,000 Koreans expected to hit the streets of Sao Paulo in support of Team Korea

June 10, 2014
A view of Brasilia's National Stadium complex in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 9, 2014. The Brazil's 2014 soccer Word Cup is set to begin in just a few days, with the opening match on June 12. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

A view of Brasilia’s National Stadium complex in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 9, 2014. The Brazil’s 2014 soccer Word Cup is set to begin in just a few days, with the opening match on June 12. (AP)

The Korea Times' reporter Kim Sang-mok stands in front of a Korean church facility in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The Korea Times’ reporter Kim Sang-mok stands in front of a Korean church facility in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

By Kim Sang-mok from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo, recently rife with anti-World Cup protests and workers’ strikes, is preparing for the beginning of the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

The Korean community in Sao Paulo, headed by the Associacao Brasilera dos Coreanos and the Brazilian Korean athletic association, is preparing street supporters for the Korean national team’s game against Russia.

About 2,000 will come out to the streets in support of the team, which will play in Cuiaba on June 17, and 200 will travel some 1,000 miles to Cuiaba by bus to cheer them on in person, the associations said.

Hordes of foreign tourists arrived in Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport on Monday in time for Thursday’s opening ceremony. The city will host Brazil’s first game against Croatia.

Sao Paulo Police, which had been on strike over wage increases, were back to work following a sudden settlement last week. Meanwhile, the city’s metro system continues its strike, which has raised safety concerns amid severe traffic jams due to out-of-service public transportation.

“I’m disappointed in our government, which spent an astronomical amount of money but still have not perfectly prepared, but the hope of Brazilians is that the World Cup will end with success,” said Garcia, a 20-year-old resident of the city.

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