The cheers of 100,000 people, it was another unforgettable impression.”

Behind the Korean national soccer team, which advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in 12 years with a 9% chance and the ‘Miracle of Doha’, was the ‘Red Devils’ who always stood by it with passionate shouts.

The power of the red devil was also great in this ‘2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup’ held as the first winter World Cup ever. Snow and rain followed by the winter wind could not stop the cheering of the Red Devils, who prayed for the success of the Korean national soccer team.

On the 15th, we met Cho Ho-tae, Red Devils Seoul branch manager, Kim Si-woo, KT’s IMC manager who sponsored the Seoul street cheering, and Heo Hye-jin, assistant manager of the same team, at the KT East building in Gwanghwamun, Seoul.

“It was the first street cheering since the COVID-19 endemic, so I was very nervous. Here, the first winter World Cup, measures to prevent the cold were also needed.”

Cho said that he encountered various problems ahead of the street cheering. Due to the Itaewon disaster right before the World Cup, there was a strong social reluctance to gather with large numbers of people.

“Ahead of the World Cup, the association canceled street cheering. I had a lot of worries. However, I have never had an accident while cheering on the street for the past 20 years. I believed that our people also had the capacity to do so. It also had the purpose of comforting the people.”

The Red Devils requested KT, which has always provided strong support for street cheering, and together with the Korea Football Association (KFA) played a total of 4 matches with Uruguay on the 24th of last month, Ghana on the 28th, Portugal on the 3rd of this month, and Brazil on the 6th. About 100,000 people were able to cheer on the streets of Gwanghwamun over the course of the event.

“According to the Gwanghwamun Plaza ordinance, you must submit an application for use at least 7 days in advance. Right after the second group match against Ghana, I applied to the city of Seoul to use the plaza in preparation for the round of 16 match. At this time, KT’s support was really great.”

From application to approval, cooperation and support… . If we missed this period, it would have been impossible to cheer on the streets of Gwanghwamun Plaza before the Brazil match. It is an explanation that KT’s know-how, which supported the Red Devils for 12 years from the 2006 World Cup, shined.

“Safe street cheering was the top priority. Together with KT, we requested cooperation from related organizations such as the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Jongno Police Station, and Jongno Fire Station. As a result, the number of supporters was reduced compared to before, but the number of supporters was more than doubled. As of the Portuguese match, the scale of public service support reached 850 police officers (commando, riot police, etc.), 80 firefighters, and 300 Seoul safety officers.”

Manager Kim and Assistant Manager Han, in charge of KT’s IMC, added meticulousness to this. For the smooth passage of citizens, fences were installed at all cheering seats, and for safety, the number of people allowed per sector was greatly reduced. To prevent accidents, the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts next to the plaza and the downhill road to Haechi Madang were closed. In case the number of fans increases, two additional LED screens were installed to disperse the crowd during the round of 16 match against Brazil. From the 3rd match, when the temperature dropped, a ‘cold shelter’ was prepared to prepare for the cold.

In addition, traffic measures were put in place to prepare for crowding after the game. We helped the cheering squad return home safely by extending and increasing subway and bus services as well as providing detour road guidance.

“The only regret was the quarterfinals where Korea and Japan were able to meet. I was expecting the Sejong-ro intersection to be full, and I had already negotiated with the Namdaemun Police Station. (Laughter)”

The cheering video that KT showed using AI technology also played a big part in adding to the excitement of this street cheering. 스포츠토토

The voice of the late director Yoo Sang-cheol, which came from the official cheering song ‘More Hotter, Korea’ that appeared on the large LED screen, caused the cheering squad to sigh. This voice of the late director Yoo was restored by using KT’s unique AI technology, ‘Few shot learning’, and it is a voice reproduced by AI based on interview videos during his lifetime.

“Gwanghwamun Square is restricted for commercial use. There is no merit to the sponsoring company at all. Nevertheless, KT has been with the Red Devils since 2006. It’s already been 16 years, now street cheering is just KT. You are always generously supporting me, regardless of whether you are good or bad.”

In fact, KT did not advertise various products and services at all except for one logo on the large screen in this street cheering. Manager Kim and Assistant Manager Han explained that they wanted to show sincerity in supporting the national team for over 20 years.

“At the end of the round of 16, it snowed. It was left as street cheering for the World Cup in snow, which I would never see again. We are already happy that we were able to provide another beautiful memory to all of our people (laughs).”