South Korean soccer player Park Jong-woo will attend an upcoming disciplinary meeting at the International Olympic Committee to make his case regarding a controversial post-match celebration at the London Olympics, officials here said Thursday.
The Korean Olympic Committee said Park will travel this weekend to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to attend the IOC’s Disciplinary Commission meeting next Tuesday.
At the meeting in Lausanne, the IOC will review Park’s celebratory behavior over receiving the bronze medal following South Korea’s 2-0 victory over Japan. Park held up a sign that read, in Korean, “Dokdo Is Our Territory,” 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 tension between the two countries for years. The IOC’s Olympic Charter prohibits any display of political statements by participating athletes, coaches and even fans during the Olympics.
Park was barred from attending the medal ceremony and has yet to pick up his bronze medal.
“Park will be traveling with an international lawyer, an attorney for the Korea Football Association and an official of the KOC,” the KOC said in a statement. “The KOC has been working with an international law firm to prepare for the IOC’s ‘no-mercy’ approach to political messages during Olympic Games.”
In December, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, suspended Park for two matches and fined him $3,855 for his “unsporting behavior.” (Yonhap News)