How two Korean girls made the perfect plan to watch the Fifa World Cup in Qatar

Not even in their wildest dreams did they imagine that they would see their team reach the knockout rounds with a victory over Portugal



Rari (right) and Hama after South Korea's win over Portugal at the Education City Stadium (Photo: KT/Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha)
Rari (right) and Hama after South Korea's win over Portugal at the Education City Stadium (Photo: KT/Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha)

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Sat 3 Dec 2022, 9:54 AM

In most countries, football is not something that helps two girls forge a friendship. But Rari and Hama belong to South Korea where football brings the whole country together.

These two Korean girls have been in love with the beautiful game for as long as they could remember.

And they were itching to watch the World Cup this year, so they came up with the perfect plan: get a job in Qatar.

“I am a big fan of football. I moved here because of the World Cup. That was the biggest motivation that I had of coming here to Doha for work,” Rari told this reporter.

“So I came here in May after I got a job in the aviation industry.”

Two months later, Rari was joined in Qatar by her best friend, Hama.

“I came here in July. We planned it together to come here to Doha for work, so that we can watch the World Cup,” Hama admitted.

But not even in their wildest dreams did they imagine that they would see Korea reach the knockout rounds of the World Cup with a victory over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

Draped in their national colours, these two friends were among thousands of South Korean fans at the Education City Stadium on Friday when a moment of magic from Tottenham star Son Heung-min set up the goal that took the team into the knockout rounds.

“I don’t know now how we can describe this feeling because we didn’t expect that we would be reaching the round of 16,” Rari admitted.

For Hama, it was a moment she would never forget in her life.

“We are really grateful that we actually witnessed this at the stadium. We are really happy. It feels like a dream actually,” she said.

The Portugal victory has set up a round of 16 clash with Brazil for the Koreans.

“We did this, we beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. We can do it again,” said Rari, sounding confident of her team’s chances against the big boys from Brazil.

South Korea famously beat the giants of the game when they reached the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup on home soil.

Rari still remembers those glorious nights when people came out to celebrate in South Korea after every victory of the team.

“Yes, I remember. I was around seven years old then. It was an amazing atmosphere with so many people coming to the streets to celebrate,” Rari said.

The two friends then bid farewell with these parting words: “We are going to celebrate in crowded places in Doha now. We had been waiting for a moment like this for a long time!”

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