13 Aug 2012

Footballer barred for display of political slogan

1:45 pm on 13 August 2012

A South Korean footballer has been barred from a bronze medal ceremony at the London Olympics for holding a political slogan after his team beat Japan.

The slogan referred to a long-running dispute about islands claimed by both countries.

On Friday, President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea visited the islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea and as Takeshima in Japan. South Korea has occupied them since 1954

The move was strongly criticised by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Japan recalled its ambassador in Seoul.

South Korea won the bronze medal by beating Japan 2-0.

The Yonhap news agency reports that the player obtained the sign, which reportedly read "Dokdo is our land", from a fan after the match.

The statutes of both the IOC and FIFA prohibit political statements by athletes and players.