South Korean midfielder Park Jong-woo has been banned two games by FIFA for holding up a sign of protest while celebrating his team’s 2-0 bronze medal game victory over rival Japan in London.
FIFA said Park was guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct, and that they “took into account that the behavior of the player, even though it appears not to have been premeditated or intentional, contradicts the principal idea and goal of sportsmanship and fair play, and therefore, cannot be tolerated.”
Park was banned from the podium in London after celebrating his team’s bronze medal victory over Japan by holding up a protest sign in Korean that translated reads: “Dokodo is our Territory.”
The sign, which was handed to Park by a fan, refers to dispute between the two countries over islands they both lay claim to that may hold billions of dollars in frozen natural gas deposits.
Park will serve his suspension when South Korea plays Qatar on March 26 and Lebanon on June 4, and be fined $3,780 for his actions. There’s still no ruling on whether the IOC will award Park his bronze medal, which has been withheld from the 23-year-old since the podium ceremony back in August.
FIFA also suspended Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair four games and fined her $3,500 last month for showing “unsporting behavior towards match officials” following her team’s exciting 4-3 extra-time loss to Team USA in the Olympic semifinals.