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31 May, 2019 10:59

‘Barbaric’: South Korean footballers stripped of China trophy over ‘foot on cup’ celebration

‘Barbaric’: South Korean footballers stripped of China trophy over ‘foot on cup’ celebration

South Korea’s under-18 football team have been stripped of the title they won at the international Panda Cup tournament in China, after one of the players was pictured putting his foot on the trophy with a broad smile on his face.

Earlier this week, South Korea defeated hosts China 3-0 to win the Panda Cup, an annual international youth football event held in the city of Chengdu.

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Following the win, a South Korean player put his foot on the trophy during the celebrations, while one teammate reportedly pretended to urinate in the cup.

An image of the player with his foot on the trophy sparked a backlash in China with social media users describing the post-match behavior as “barbaric,” “vulgar” and “unforgivable.”

Furious event organizers stripped the South Korean squad of the victory, threatening not to invite the team to future editions of the tournament.

South Korean football officials have made public apologies to China for the “disappointing behavior of their young players.”

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We apologize to the CFA (Chinese Football Association) and Chinese citizens for the disappointing behaviour of our young players,” the Korean Football Association (KFA) said in a statement. “KFA has been considering respect as one of our foremost values... and we take this situation very seriously.”

Meanwhile we will strengthen our educational programs on sportsmanship and respect for our young players. We humbly accept many people’s criticism and will try our best to make sure such an event will never happen again,” it added.