Published : 2013-02-04 18:34
Updated : 2013-02-04 18:34
The International Olympic Committee will hold a disciplinary meeting next week over a South Korean footballer who held up a controversial sign while celebrating the country’s bronze medal at the London Games, officials here said Monday.
The IOC’s Disciplinary Commission will meet Feb. 11 at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to review the case of Park Jong-woo, the Korean Olympic Committee said in a statement.
After South Korea beat Japan 2-0 to claim the bronze medal, the 23-year-old midfielder celebrated with a sign that read, in Korean, “Dokdo Is Our Territory.” It was in support of South Korea’s sovereignty over its easternmost islets, to which Japan has also laid claims. Dokdo has been a source of diplomatic tensions between the neighbors for years.
In December, FIFA, the international governing body of football, suspended Park for two matches and fined him 3,500 Swiss francs ($3,855) for his “unsporting behavior.” The player has yet to collect his medal, and the IOC will decide whether to award Park his medal based on FIFA’s disciplinary ruling.
The IOC’s Olympic Charter prohibits any display of political statements by participating athletes, coaches and even fans during the Olympics. Following the FIFA ruling, the IOC quickly opened an investigation into Park’s case, saying the player had made “an alleged political statement.”
The KOC said it will work with relevant agencies to prepare for an IOC move. (Yonhap News)