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Russia apologizes to S. Korea over volleyball coach's racist gesture

Sports 17:15 August 13, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- Russia has apologized to South Korea for its women's national volleyball coach's racist gesture after a recent match.

The Korea Volleyball Association (KVA) said Tuesday the Russian Volleyball Federation (RVF) sent an apology over Sergio Busato's action after Russia defeated South Korea in an Olympic qualifying match in Kaliningrad, Russia, on Aug. 4.

Busato, an Italian-born assistant coach of the Russian women's team, was photographed making the slant-eye gesture, widely considered racist against Asians. The KVA lodged a complaint with FIVB, the sport's international governing body. In a media interview last week, Busato apologized to the South Korean team and its fans but said he didn't know his action was perceived as offensive.

Busato said he was merely celebrating the victory that sent Russia into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a claim repeated by the RVF in its apology to the KVA.

According to the KVA, Busato has been suspended for two international matches, and the RVF expressed hopes that the two federations would maintain close ties moving forward.

The KVA said it asked both the RVF and FIVB to help prevent such incidents recurring.

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. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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