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Opinion

Asia should make the most of the return of World Cup

2002 tournament had tremendous impact on game's development in region

| Middle East
Park Ji-sung in action against Portugal in June 2002: After South Korea's electrifying World Cup showing, the midfielder became a household name around the world.   © Reuters

Afshin Ghotbi is head coach of Canadian Premier League team Vancouver FC. He previously coached China's Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, Thailand's Buriram United, Japan's Shimizu S-Pulse, and Iran's Persepolis FC and Foolad FC. He was also assistant coach of South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings and the Los Angeles Galaxy of the U.S. He was previously head coach of the Iranian national team, assistant coach of the South Korean national team and a staff member of the U.S. national team.

The World Cup is finally returning to Asia this weekend, 20 years after South Korea and Japan brought the tournament to the world's largest continent for the first time as its first joint hosts.

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