3 times the expected number… Citizens are keeping order
On the night of the 24th, 26,000 people (according to the police) gathered to celebrate the World Cup on the street in Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, more than three times more than expected, but the outcry ended without any security incidents . There is an analysis that thorough preparations and more awareness after the Itaewon Halloween disaster have created ‘fun without accidents’.
According to the police and the Seoul Metropolitan Government on the 25th, on the day of the first group H match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup against Uruguay, citizens gathered in Gwanghwamun Square, much more than the 8,000 people expected to cheer the “Red Devils” . squad.
However, according to the Seoul Fire Department, the only accident at Gwanghwamun Square that day was a fan who fell and suffered scratches before the match started. There was not a single instance of ambulance transport or a rescue request. The National Police Agency also announced that a total of 11 cases of 112 calls relating to street cheering were received from 7:00pm on the same day to 1:00am the next day.
Before cheering on this day, the police divided Gwanghwamun Square into five zones and guided the crowds not to concentrate in a particular area. As more citizens than expected gathered, some of the fences that separated the plaza from the lanes were removed, vehicles were controlled on the two lanes of Sejong-daero and a new space was created for cheering. After the game started, the cheering space was further expanded by controlling all seven lanes in both directions on Sejong-daero.
On this day, about 1,400 people, including 341 people from the Red Devils, 690 police officers, 50 firefighters, and 300 people from Seoul and Jongno-gu, took control of security. Citizens were also organized. After the game, they followed the orderly exit instructions for each section. A citizen who took part in the street cheering said, “It was an atmosphere where everyone was careful together, perhaps because of the awareness caused by the Itaewon disaster.” Illegal dumping of rubbish, which was repeated every time we cheered on the street, was almost impossible to find on this day.