The Words of Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

Interview with Reverend Kwak

John Haydon
July 22 2003
Sun Moon Peace Cup
Seoul, Korea

John Haydon, who covered the Peace Cup for the Washington Times interviewed Peace Cup Organizing Committee Chairman Chung Hwan Kwak at the Sun Moon Peace Football Foundation office in Mapo, Seoul on July 22 2003.

Q: Can you comment on the success of the Peace Cup and future projects?

Mr. Kwak: Thank you Washington Times. Mr. Joo, called me about your articles and it is much appreciated.I am not a soccer player but I am the president of the Songnam soccer team. I have a plan to have a soccer tournament involving all the top university soccer teams from all over the world. We are studying about alternating the Peace Cup and the university tournament each year.

Q: What is the philosophy behind the Peace Cup?

Mr. Kwak: Our founder believes that sports, art, hobbies and culture moves the human mind and brings people together. Sincere sports comes through the mind and not material things. This is the origin and vision of Dr. Sun Myung Moon. He always taught that in the future world culture will be God-centered, a culture of love, a culture of heart. This culture should not be achieved by military force or material forces or diplomacy. The culture of love will result from art, hobbies and sports, especially soccer. Soccer has an amazing power. Centering on soccer people can easily create harmony and excitement. Soccer has amazing power. Centering on soccer people easily come together creating harmony and excitement and things can blossom from that. Take for instance the current youth today, their focus on many things but they are most productive and meaningful when they focus on sports. When young people focus on sports their mind is so pure and they are excited. Sadly many youngsters focus on drugs, drink and sex which is destructive, so Rev. Moon drew up the idea of the Peace Cup because he firmly believes he can promote world peace.

Q: When will you hold this event again?

Mr. Kwak: Every two years. Of course we are not limited. We can hold the event in different countries. The next event will be in 2005 in Korea. Through this tournament I met club owners and coaches of clubs and they all said they wanted to come again. Even though these clubs were high level, next time we want to bring even bigger clubs. The great thing about bringing club teams is that sometimes there is not so much unity and harmony on national teams because the players aren't together very long, but on club teams the players are always together and they have great harmony.

Q: What kind of teams can we hope to see in the future?

Mr. Kwak: Many people have approached me about wanting to attend the event. Even Pele received phone calls from the big clubs wanted to come to the Peace Cup. We can't name those teams now. This kind of event normally needs government help but even though we are a small foundation we were very successful. The hospitality and ground conditions were very good and the all the teams said the conditions were perfect.

Q: What was unique about this event?

Mr. Kwak: First, the Peace Cup is not based on commercial or business motives, the pure motivation was to promote world peace. Second, until now the most famous competition was the World Cup which involves 32 nations but those clubs are mostly from South America and Europe. Also the Asian Cup is not so famous. Since the history of the game the Peace Cup brings clubs from all the continents.

Q: Many of the foreign journalist were surprised at how big the prize money was. They had never seen this kind of price before. Why did you make it so big?

Mr. Kwak: We want to be the number one tournament so we have the number one prize. Because of this prize we expect high quality clubs to attend and share the wonderful game dedicated to all people.

Q: The Sun Moon Peace Football Foundation has teams in Brazil and Korea. Would you like to see teams in other countries, such as the United States?

Mr. Kwak: Yes. We hope to start a team in Japan and then we will start teams in other countries but not yet in the U.S. I hope in the future we will come to the U.S.

Q: Even though Songnam didn't make the final are you happy with the event.

Mr. Kwak: Of course I am the owner and president of Songnam. They did well and did their best. We [Songnam] got the same points as Lyon in our group. I praised them for their good play. We are the sponsors so in one sense we would like to be in the final.

Q: Did the event make a profit?

Mr. Kwak: We did not make a profit but the Peace Cup is donating $1 million to youth groups in many African countries, North Korea, Guiana in South Americana and Nepal in Asia. The funds will be distributed by WANGO [World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations].

Q: The quality of soccer was very good in this tournament. I think many people were impressed by it, especially because South Korea did so well in the World Cup. Many people are now aware of Asian soccer. I spoke to players from the Los Angeles Galaxy and their were amazed at how popular the game was here and how well the South Korean team did at the World Cup.

Mr. Kwak: Thank you.

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