[EDITORIALS]It’s only a game

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[EDITORIALS]It’s only a game

Our society is being sucked into World Cup fever. Of course, it is natural that people take interest in the World Cup, which is an event that is celebrated globally.
Koreans in particular have fond sentiment for the World Cup after the Korean national team made it to the semifinals of the 2002 tournament.
Sports are just sports. All we need to do is to watch and enjoy. There is no need to become too excited about whether we win or lose. But Koreans are putting all their chips on the World Cup.
Although it may be a disturbing hypothesis, if the Korean team fails to reach the quarterfinals, we worry about how we will heal the shock and trauma that will afflict the entire country.
The biggest reason that the whole country has become enchanted by this World Cup fervor is the commercialism of broadcasters.
TV broadcasters have already dispatched their main anchors to Germany and are taking the initiative in creating a World Cup boom. Public and private broadcasters are alike in this phenomenon.
The reason is simple. They want to make money from seasonal advertisements. That is why all three main broadcasters will relay the games, when one would be sufficient.
To sum it up, we are wasting air time, electricity and foreign exchange. Because companies are in such wasteful competition, they are going to extremes, even broadcasting special programs that put their sports commentators in the spotlight.
Is this right? Is it proper to postpone urgent tasks until after the World Cup?
Is the World Cup more important than the North Korean nuclear problem, signing a free trade agreement with the United States or other current issues like the unstable economy, high oil prices, a soaring foreign exchange rate, real estate bubbles and paralysis in government management after the local elections? We think not.
As all these problems bubble and World Cup fever soars, 100 civic activists announced that they would conduct an anti-Cup campaign because the commercially driven World Cup hysteria is distracting people from considering social problems.
We welcome the fact that there are people who hold such opinions, especially because Koreans have a reputation for wild enthusiasms that quickly cool. The World Cup will be over in a month whether we win or lose. We must not forget, however, that life will go on afterward.
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