South Korea and Iran sign sports pact

After advancing to the 2014 World Cup finals, South Korea and Iran look to expand sports exchanges and cooperation.

    South Korea and Iran sign sports pact
    New coach Hong Myung-Bo (pictured) will lead South Korea to World Cup after Choi Kang-hee's resignation [GETTY]

    South Korea and Iran will sign a sports exchange agreement on Wednesday, barely two weeks after talks of "blood" and "revenge" soured relations between their respective soccer teams ahead of a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier.

    Both nations advanced to next year's finals in Brazil after Iran beat the hosts 1-0 in Ulsan last month in a highly charged encounter stoked by mud-slinging between Iran coach Carlos Queiroz and his South Korean counterpart Choi Kang-hee.

    The Korea Football Association (KFA) website crashed due to heavy traffic after angry fans visited the portal to slam the team's insipid performance, while Choi was criticised heavily in the local media prior to his resignation the next day.

    We hope this signing will further expand sports exchanges and cooperation between South Korea and Iran

    Yoo Jin-ryong, South Korea minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism

    Queiroz's animated celebrations after the match also drew anger from the KFA, who said he had made a rude gesture after the final whistle which FIFA would investigate.

    Despite the bad blood, Yoo Jin-ryong, South Korea's minister of culture, sports and tourism, and Mohammad Abbasi, Iran's minister of youth affairs and sports, will ink a deal on the sports exchange programme.

    In 2007, the countries had signed a similar agreement and the deal expired in 2010, South Korea's sports ministry said.

    The new agreement would cover bilateral exchange of athletes, coaches and other sports experts and the two countries would also cooperate on matters related to international sports organisations, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    "We hope this signing will further expand sports exchanges and cooperation between South Korea and Iran," Yoo was quoted as saying in the report.

    "We also hope that the two countries will actively engage in exchange programs in culture and tourism, among other areas."

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.