FOOTBALL fans in Mexico have an unlikely favourite new team: South Korea.
Hundreds of fans marched to the South Korean embassy in Mexico City on Wednesday, dressing Seoul’s consul general Byoung-jin Han in a Mexican jersey and force-feeding him tequila.
They were celebrating Korea’s unexpected 2-0 victory over Germany in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which allowed the North American side to progress to the knock-out stages of the tournament which is being held in Russia.
That’s the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, celebrating with grateful Mexican fans outside the Korea embassy here. One fan said he took a shot of tequila with them earlier. pic.twitter.com/NGWEmRADUW
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 27, 2018
Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday, meaning that a German win would have eliminated the Mexican side known as El Tri from the World Cup.
Fans in Mexico City sang the country’s unofficial soccer anthem “Cielito Lindo” and chanted to the consul general: “Korean brother, you are now Mexican!”
Byoung-jin Han said: “there’s no distinction between Mexicans and Koreans today. We’re celebrating together.”
“They are crazy but I’m also crazy today.” Mexican staff at the embassy were crying with joy, he added.
That’s the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, celebrating with a tequila shot while wearing a Mexico jersey lent to him by a fan outside the Korea embassy!@ByJamesWagner: Another fan @sebasaspe passed this along [VID EO!]: pic.twitter.com/X19DLBAVb1
— Ted Russell (@artsted) June 28, 2018
Mexican airline Aeromexico announced a 20 percent discount on its Korean flights, saying: “We love you Korea!”
Celebrations spread to the historic center of the capital, where World Cup games are being shown on giant screens. Mexican fans mobbed Asian tourists, and TV footage showed one laughing Asian man being flung into the air and caught by the crowd.
Memes spread across social media with the hashtag #GraciasCorea (thank you Korea), including one of the Mexican and Korean flags combined as one.
— Champagne Papi Clara (@Rene_Clara_23) June 27, 2018
I ❤️ Korea.
— JuanPi (@Jpi1402) June 27, 2018
Mexicans at the actual tournament in Russia also celebrated fellow Korean fans.
The Mexicans found a South Korean outside the stadium 😂 pic.twitter.com/9gG7V9wtOd
— Siavoush Fallahi (@SiavoushF) June 27, 2018
Additional reporting from Reuters.