Up to 1,000 South Koreans are expected to enjoy their nation’s first World Cup fixture with a pint in a New Malden pub next week.
The Fountain pub in Malden Road will be showing all the Korean Republic football games starting from Tuesday, June 17, at 11pm when they take on Russia in their first Group H encounter.
Jake Buckley, duty manager at the pub, said: "We expect it to be very busy. We are expecting 500 to 1,000 South Koreans. We have put up all the 32 flags of the competing nations and some big England and South Korea ones."
Premier League players to watch out for within the Korean Republic’s line-up include Sunderland’s midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung and Arsenal’s forward Park Chu-young.
During the last World Cup in South Africa the Fountain catered to scores of football fans with an outside marquee with television screens. There were also incredible scenes there when South Korea hosted the competition in 2002 and progressed to the semi-finals.
But this time round, Mr Buckley said the late Brazilian kick-offs could be a bit of a problem.
He said: "It is difficult time wise with the first games being at 11pm. It is a bit late to be doing too much. But if they get through the stages we will most probably do something big."
But when asked about the team’s chances at winning the tournament, Mr Buckley said: "I wouldn’t say so but you never know. They did not have a chance in 2002 but they made it through the quarters.
"You never know in football."
On England’s World Cup prospects, he added: "I think they have a chance - an outside chance."
The Fountain is doing a charity raffle for Prostate Cancer where customers can guess scores and first goal scorers for both England and Korean games.
The Korean Republic will also take on Algeria on June 22 and Belgium on June 26.
- Where are you watching your team? Leave a comment below for fellow fans