SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Colombian football player Edwin Cardona made an apparent racist gesture at his South Korean opponents during his team’s 2-1 friendly loss here on Friday.
In a testy match at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 46 kilometers south of Seoul, Cardona, who came off the bench in the second half, made the mocking gesture toward South Korean captain Ki Sung-yueng, who was standing next to two teammates.
It came after the end of some pushing and shoving that ensued following James Rodriguez’s foul on Kim Jin-su around the 63rd minute mark.
After Kim went down to the ground in pain, James, as he’s commonly known, tried to bring the South Korean to his feet so that the match would resume. Colombia were trailing 2-0 at the time.
South Koreans took umbrage at James’ action, and players from both sides gathered around Kim and James.
As the players were separated, Cardona, who’d come off the bench in the second half, made that controversial gesture, which was caught on South Korean television.
His head coach, Jose Pekerman said afterward that he never saw the gesture. But Ki, who clearly did see Cardona’s action, called it “absolutely unacceptable.”
“I thought the Colombians played a physical, rough game today, but it can happen in football,” Ki said. “But racist behavior is absolutely unacceptable. Colombia have world-class players, and I was extremely disappointed to see such action.”