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S. Korean football delegate to visit FIFAt to explain athlete's action

All Headlines 23:10 August 15, 2012

SEOUL, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's football governing body said Wednesday it will send a delegation to FIFA to clarify what is criticized as a political action by one of its players at the bronze medal match at the London Olympics.

When South Korea beat Japan 2-0 at the London match, South Korean midfielder Park Jong-woo carried around the pitch a sign that read "Dokdo is Korean territory." Dokdo, a group of islets South Korea currently controls, is also claimed by Japan.

The International Olympic Committee took issue of Park's move and kept him from attending the medal awarding ceremony. The IOC ordered FIFA to investigate the incident and make a full report on it by Thursday.

South Korea's football delegation left Seoul on Wednesday to visit FIFA based in Zurich, Switzerland.

"The visit may be needed because a written explanation may not be adequate in light of the gravity of the case," the Korea Football Association (KFA) said in a news release.

Park's goal ceremony took place hours after President Lee Myung-bak made an unprecedented visit to Dokdo, a move that raised diplomatic tensions between South Korea and Japan.

The KFA, meanwhile, said it has compiled a report based on its interview with Park, photos and video shots of his actions that would show the goal ceremony was not pre-meditated.

Park picked up the Dokdo sign from a South Korean spectator and carried it around the pitch before he could be stopped, it said.


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