KFA warns Ki over criticism of ex-coachThe Korea Football Association said yesterday that it will only issue a warning to Ki Sung-yueng of Swansea City, a move that is likely to draw the curtain on a controversy surrounding his online criticism over the former national football coach, Choi Kang-hee.
“Ki Sung-yueng, who aroused a controversy, has expressed a will of apology and reflection, and given his contribution to the national team and his achievement, the association decided to give him a stern warning, but not to refer him to the discipline committee,” said the KFA in a statement.
Choi, who drew criticism for Korea’s lackluster closure during its qualification for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, was turned into a victim in the capricious court of public opinion after Ki was found to have taunted him on his “secret” Facebook account.
The KFA considered whether to punish Ki based on its rule book, which states that a player could face a multiple-year ban if he is found to have brought disgrace to the national team, raising the possibility that Ki would not be able to compete in the World Cup.
Ki, who is participating in Swansea’s pre-season training camp with his celebrity bride, Han Hye-jin, issued a statement of apology last Thursday through his agency in Korea.
Ki played an integral part in Choi’s squad winning Korea’s eighth successive World Cup berth, but he was left out of Korea’s final three qualifiers.
By Moon Gwang-lip