Despite triumphing over China with staggering 3-0, South Korea’s youth players lost the trophy to an indecent celebration.
If you happen to think that you have seen it all, let South Korea U18s prove you otherwise. The youth national squad managed to score big wins against even bigger teams and still lose the coveted trophy.
The reason for it?
A South Korean roster player uploaded a photo, placing his foot on the trophy. Yes, that is the reason. South Korea, who beat China 3-0 in the Wednesday Panda Cup final, had to apologize following a heavy public backlash.
As stated, the images were nothing short of offensive to the Chinese and indicate a downright disrespect. To make matters worse, South Korea won’t be attending more Panda Cups, as organizers banned the national squad from participating.
Given the nature of the photos, it is obvious Chinese fans were livid.
“I swear, we will never forgive Korean football,” noted some users. At the same time, others described the photos as “barbaric and vulgar”. Of course, South Korea apologized for the careless celebration, where one of their key players took the blame for “mumbling.”
It wasn’t too late before a rivalry statement issued to the Global Times daily made things even more difficult. As per the outlet, the South Koreans “acted like conquerors rather than champions”. This was mostly due to the fact that the team “ignored the universal ethos of sports”.
In addition, The Global Times also wrote, “The only way to stop similar incidents from happening is very simple: They must start winning.”
As for users, the anger was hitting through the roof.
“Chinese football needs this whip!” complained one of the users. “The photo should be hung up in the Chinese Football Association’s office until the Chinese team can beat them.”
As for South Korea’s reactions, The Chengdu FA issues a video featuring the team’s apology. In it, the team kept their heads down, with the accused player offering a sincere apology as well.
“We apologize for the situation. One of our players made a huge mistake. We humbly apologize to all of the fans, all of the players and all of the people in China,” a team official translated.
“Teams and players who violate sports ethics and spirit are not welcome to participate,” The Korean Football Association stated.
South Korea’s trophy loss is tragic, especially with the squad beating New Zealand, Thailand and China to win.