KFA on ‘first call-up’ Park Yong-woo racism case, “Klinsmann also aware of incident…will review with federation”

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said it will also review the “racist” incident of Park Yong-woo (30, Ulsan) aboard the Klinsmann, along with the professional football league.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jürgen Klinsmann, convened at Hotel Lotte Busan at 3 p.m. on Dec. 12. The team practiced at 4:30 p.m. at Gudeok Sports Complex in Busan.

After interviewing Klinsmann, Hwang Hee-chan, and Hong Hyun-seok, we asked a Korean Football Association (KFA) official about Park Yong-woo, who was recently the subject of a “racism controversy”.

Park’s club, Ulsan Hyundai, defeated Jeju United 5-1 at home in the 18th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 on Oct. 10. Lee, who started and played in the match, uploaded a post to his social media after the game, and his teammates commented and chatted with him.

But then something went wrong: some players made fun of his Southeast Asian appearance. They even mentioned the real name of Sasalak Hyprakorn, a Thai international defender who once played for Jeonbuk Hyundai.

Lee Kyu-sung commented, “Southeast Asian quarterback is reliable,” while Park Yong-woo compared Lee Myung-jae to Sasalak, saying, “Sasalak’s form is crazy.” The Ulsan team manager commented, “Sasalak super tackle” (super tackle). Lee Myung-jae responded to Jung Seung-hyun’s praise by saying, “It’s because of you, Asia Quarter.”

Although the conversation was between teammates, it was clearly racist. They were making fun of Lee Myung-jae’s skin, which was a little darker than the other players’, and comparing him to a Southeast Asian. As the controversy grew, Lee deleted the post, and Park Yong-woo and Lee Kyu-sung posted apologies on the morning of the 12th. Both players apologized to Sasalak, officials, and fans who may have been hurt by their inappropriate comments and expressed remorse.

The club also posted an apology. Ulsan said, “We sincerely apologize to the affected parties, officials, and fans for the inappropriate behavior of our players. We will identify the situation as soon as possible and take measures to prevent recurrence, such as holding a punishment committee and training for all members,” the club said in its follow-up.

Park Yong-woo’s inclusion in the KFA’s June A-match call-up list, which was announced on June 5, caused even more controversy. Some fans called for an alternative selection.

A KFA official said, “The KFA, Coach Klinsmann, and the coaching staff are aware of the situation. The KFA has asked Ulsan to submit a statement of reasons, which will be reviewed by the federation and the KFA together.”

“Depending on the outcome of the investigation, we will make a decision after completing an internal review,” the official said, adding that Park Yong-woo could be replaced.스포츠토토

In response, the official explained that the KFA has the authority to discipline Park Yong-woo for racial discrimination, not the KFA, based on Article 3 of the ‘Regulations of the Fair Committee of the Korean Football Association’, which states, “The fair committees of provincial associations and federated organizations shall govern disciplinary matters within the jurisdiction of each organization, including incidents that occurred in competitions or leagues organized and held by such associations or organizations, and incidents that occurred in the athletic departments of schools under their jurisdiction.”

“The KFA’s Fair Play Committee Regulations state that incidents within the K League are under the jurisdiction of the KFA. It is up to the KFA to decide whether to discipline Park Yong-woo separately from the federation.”

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