The Korea Volleyball Association (KVA) announced today it will lodge a complaint against a Russian women's team coach for an alleged racist gesture following a recent match in the qualifying tournament for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Russia defeated South Korea 3-2 in the final Group E match of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Women's Volleyball Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament at DS Yantarny in Kaliningrad on Sunday (August 4).
The victory earned the hosts Russia qualification for Tokyo 2020.
It is alleged that after the match Sergio Busato, Russia's Italian-born head coach, was photographed making a slant-eyed racist gesture.
The KVA today revealed it planned to protest to FIVB and the Volleyball Federation of Russia.
"We're trying to confirm if such an act is punishable by FIVB," a KVA official told South Korean agency Yonhap News.
"We decided to take these steps to ensure something like this won't occur again."
The 53-year-old Busato has been working in Russian men's and women's volleyball at club and national level for nearly 20 years, including with the Olympic gold medal-winning male team at London 2012.
"The FIVB is aware of this matter and notes that the Russian Volleyball Federation immediately took steps to get the picture taken down by various sites as the image does not reflect their views or values," a spokeswoman for the FIVB told insidethegames.
"The FIVB has received one official complaint which it is now processing through its internal procedures.
"There will be no further comment on this matter until this process is complete.
"However, it is important to stress that the FIVB does not approve of any such culturally insensitive gestures, even if there was no intention to offend.
"The FIVB is committed to fostering better understanding and tolerance of the sport's rich cultural and ethic diversity.
"The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all its Member Federations to ensure that this work is reflected throughout the global volleyball community."
In November 2017, Colombia's Edwin Cardona was warned by FIFA for making a similar gesture during an international football friendly against South Korea.
In June, Poland's Michal Kubiak was suspended for six matches by the FIVB after making a series of controversial statements about Iran before the two countries played each other in the FIVB Volleyball Men's Nations League.
Among his comments, he claimed Iranians were "malicious and damned people".