Jeju United for Fair Play
© Foto-net

'For the game. For the world.' The FIFA motto came to life in Jeju over the past eight days as Brazil, England, Korea DPR and New Zealand came together to produce a spirit of friendship and Fair Play.

Although the four Group B teams played to win in their two games at the FIFA World Cup™ Stadium Jeju, they never forgot what it means to be sportsmen and consequently treated the opposition with respect.

Prior to the beginning of the tournament, the 21 players from each squad, together with coaching staff and team officials, signed the FIFA Fair Play Charter, a pledge to set an example to the youth of the world.

Although this was in evidence on the pitch, it was the off-the-pitch events that proved to be the more heartwarming.

On Monday evening, the coaches and captains of the four teams, together with representatives from FIFA and the LOC came together for a unique photo opportunity organised by FIFA.com.

It will not only serve as a memento for those involved, but a testament of the goodwill and friendship between the delegations.

The photo is entitled 'Jeju United' - the name of the island's K-League side and a fitting description of the camaraderie and togetherness of the teams.

But there was more to the relationships than just a simple snapshot.

For example, the sight of winning coaches Lucho Nizzo and John Peacock offering words of support to their defeated counterparts An Ye Gun and Colin Tuaa following their matches on Monday was sincere and gracious.

The events took place away from the glare of the TV cameras in the dressing room area and FIFA.com was in a privileged position to witness them.

Brazil and New Zealand players regularly rubbed shoulders while surfing the web at the team hotel, while the England and Korea DPR players shared cordial greetings when they made their way to their meals and team meetings.

The youngsters from each team are not only talented players, but fine ambassadors for their respective countries.

A football family
"We were extremely lucky to have them here," said FIFA Match Commissioner Theodore Theodoridis.

"There was a great spirit between the teams; you could obviously tell that they enjoyed being here and participating in this tournament. They caused absolutely no problems and it was a pleasure to work with them.

"The four countries, the FIFA staff and the LOC in Jeju came together to create a real football family. In many ways, we are sorry to see them go, but we are looking forward to welcoming Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, Peru and Syria over the next few days."

Meanwhile, the coaches themselves had nothing but nice things to say about Jeju and about each other before leaving the venue on Tuesday morning.

"It's been absolutely fantastic," said New Zealand coach Tuaa. "Although we were in a tough group, I couldn't have wished to have been in a better venue."

Korea DPR coach An agreed. "There has been an excellent atmosphere between the teams and the support that our players received from the fans was very much appreciated."

Peacock, the England coach was quick to praise the training facilities and the stadium. "They have been excellent, absolutely first-class," he said. "It's been a great experience and everything has gone very smoothly."

But perhaps the most telling comment was also the most concise. "It's been perfect," said Lucho, before adding, "We'd very much like to come back in a few days!"

Obviously the Brazil coach was referring to the fact that the winners of Group B will return to Jeju for their Round of 16 match against a third place team from either Group A, C or D.

For the Seleçāo and the Three Lions, that has to be a great incentive to win Friday's match in Goyang.