Park hit with ban and fine following London 2012 political protest

Monday, 03 December 2012
By Andrew Warshaw

Park Jong-Woo of South KoreaDecember 3 - South Korea's Park Jong-Woo, whose political protest sparked a diplomatic row with Japan at the London 2012 Olympics, has been banned for two games by FIFA and fined 3,500 Swiss francs (£2,400/$3,800/€2,900), football's world governing body said today.

Park waved a banner saying "Dokdo is our territory" referring to a territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan while celebrating his team's 2-0 win over their fierce rivals in the Olympic bronze medal match at Wembley Stadium in August.

As a result, he was prevented from receiving his medal because political protests are banned under the rules of the Olympic Charter.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) claimed last month that Park had been sent a certificate confirming that he would receive the medal.

Park was handed the sign by a fan but his actions, said FIFA after a meeting of its disciplinary panel, was found to have breached article 57 of the FIFA disciplinary code covering offensive behaviour and fair play – and article 18 of the Regulations of the Olympic Football Tournaments London 2012.

"The Committee took into account that the behaviour 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," FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA added it had warned the KFA of their obligations to instruct their players of all the rules in order to avoid a similar incident happening again which would warrant "harsher sanctions".

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