London, Aug. 12 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee asked South Korea to bar one of its footballers from attending the bronze medal ceremony after he waved a political message after his team beat Japan.The slogan was said to refer to a long-running dispute about islands that both South Korea and Japan claim, the BBC reports.
According to the report, the sign reportedly read: Dokdo is our land, which the S. Korean footballer took from a fan after the match, stressing that the incident was not pre-planned.
South Korea won the Olympic football bronze medal by beating Japan 2-0, the report added.
The IOC said that after the game, the player was photographed waving the sign allegedly asserting South Korea's sovereignty over the islands.
The committee urged the South Korean Olympic committee to take 'swift action on this issue' and said the player should not be present at the medal ceremony, which took place on Saturday.
A Korean Football Association official later named the footballer as Park Jong-woo, 23, who was not present at the ceremony.
Park was running around with the banner which he got from the crowd. We saw the message on the banner so we quickly took it from him, the unnamed official said.
Football's governing body, FIFA, said it had opened a separate investigation to discipline him.The statutes of both the IOC and Fifa prohibit political statements by athletes and players. (ANI)