After scoring on a penalty kick in the Asian Cup semifinals, South Korean Ki Sung-Yueng scratched his cheek in what has been interpreted by some as "apparently impersonating a monkey." To others, he was mocking his opponents.
Well, Sung-Yueng's people say he did so to highlight racism in Scotland, where he plays on Celtic.
"The treatment he got from the Scottish league, especially in the away games, the people who made noises like the sound of the monkeys in Scotland when he played away games, that is something he wanted to highlight," said a Korea Football Association spokesman. "Even though they call him a monkey as an Asian, he wanted to show how strong they are in Asia."
The Japanese accepted this explanation. Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby did not, according to the Evening Times.
"It doesn't ring true to me that that's what it was about," Grebby said.
South Korean footballer's monkey impression angers Japan [Guardian]
Celtic's Ki Sung-yeung: I did monkey impression to highlight racism of Scottish football fans [Daily Mail]
Ki Sung-Yeung claim rejected by racism expert [The Evening Times] (H/T Tomuban)