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S. Korean volleyball body to file complaint over Russian coach's racist gesture

All News 16:32 August 07, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean national volleyball federation said Wednesday it will lodge a complaint against a Russian women's team coach for his racist gesture following a recent match.

This photo, captured from Russian website Sport 24, shows Sergio Busato, an assistant coach for the Russian national women's volleyball team, making a racist gesture after his team defeated South Korea at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaliningrad, Russia, on Aug. 4, 2019. (Yonhap)

Russia defeated South Korea 3-2 (21-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-11) in the final Group E match of the FIVB Women's Volleyball Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament at DS Yantarny in Kaliningrad, Russia, on Sunday (local time). With that victory, Russia earned direct qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In post-match celebration, Sergio Busato, an Italian-born assistant coach for Russia, was photographed making the slant-eye, racist gesture.

Russian website Sport 24 carried a photo of Busato with his two index fingers on his eyes. The accompanying blurb simply said the coach "did not hide his positive emotions" and showed a gesture depicting narrow eyes, with no mention of the gesture's implications.

FIFA bans this and other discriminatory gestures under its disciplinary code and once sanctioned Colombian midfielder Edwin Cardona, who resorted to the act in a friendly against South Korea in November 2017. But FIVB, the international volleyball federation, isn't known to have specific rules against racist or discriminatory acts.

The Korea Volleyball Association (KVA) will still send its complaints to both FIVB and the Volleyball Federation of Russia and demand a penalty for Busato.

"We're trying to confirm if such an act is punishable by FIVB," a KVA official said. "We decided to take these steps to ensure something like this won't occur again."


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