Unification News for February 2003

World Peace King Cup to be Held in July

The schedule for the 2003 World Peace King Cup, which will be held between international football club champions, has been released. The Sun Moon Peace Football Foundation announced at their press conference at the Hyatt Hotel, in Seoul, on February 5th, that the venue will be held in S. Korea from July 15th to July 22nd.

The World Peace King Cup, which has been approved by FIFA, will use the money to fight for world peace and eradication of poverty in third world countries. Chairman, Kwak, Chung Hwan announced the eight teams on Wednesday. Starting with the Korean champions Songnam Ihwa Football Club representing Asia, AS Roma (Italy) , PSV Eindhoven (Holland), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Germany), Sao Paulo Football Club (Brazil), LA Galaxy (North America), Kaizer Chiefs the African Club of Year 2001/2002 (South Africa), and Olympique Lyonnais (France) the continents of the world will be represented.

There will be two groups of four teams that will fight it out for the first stop in each group. The leaders of the two groups will battle for the championship. The prize money will be $2 million USD for first and the runner up will get $500,000 USD, and the tournaments are planned to be held at the six stadiums that were used for the 2002 World Cup. The draw for the team placements will be held between March and April in South Korea.

The game will have 40 top-notch players including Francesco Totti of AS Roma, Neuville Schneider of Bayer Leverkusen, and Edmilson (Brazil) of Lyon who played in the 2002 World Cup. PSV Eindhoven with Guus Hiddink as head coach and Park Ji-sung and Lee Yong-pyo as players, and Hong Myung-bo of LA Galaxy are expected to draw a lot of attention from the crowds.

The organizers stressed that the teams were selected on merit. "We had to look at the top 15 clubs around the world and it was not easy as many are currently busy with their own programs," said Pele, the Brazilian legend. "As you know Santos is my team and I would have loved to bring them here, but Sao Paulo are currently the best team in Brazil and we had to select them."

Rev. Kwak said the tournament, which has the approval of FIFA, is the first of its kind and hoped that this tournament will carry on the excitement of the 2002 World Cup, which was co-hosted in Korea and Japan. Future tournaments will be moved from country to country on a bidding system, the organizers explained.

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