Olympic Football: South Korea’s Park Jong-Woo Denied Bronze Medal For Holding Political Slogan Aloft After Third-Place Game

Chris Wright

12th, August 2012


By Chris Wright

South Korea’s Park Jong-Woo has been denied his bronze medal for the crime of holding aloft a political banner after his country’s 2-0 victory in the Olympic third-place play-off game against Japan.

The banner reads “Dokdo is our Territory,” referring to a group of largely uninhabited islands (known as ‘Dokdo’ in Korea and ‘Takeshima’ in Japan) which lie in an area of rich fishing grounds and natural gas deposits and over which both countries claim sovereignty.

Unfortunately for Jong-Woo, FIFA statutes prohibit political statements being made at its football matches and the IOC also have similar guidelines – so both have launched an investigation into the midfielder’s little protest.

This from Reuters:

“Park Jong-Woo’s protest came hours after South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, paid a surprise visit to the islands. The visit infuriated Japan, which withdrew its ambassador from Seoul in protest.

“Olympic officials asked South Korea’s Olympic committee to take action against Mr. Park, 23, while it investigates, and the Koreans responded by preventing him from taking part in the medal ceremony on Saturday.

“Mr. Park’s 17 teammates received their medals at Wembley; his absence was not noted to the crowd of more than 80,000.”

Apparently, Jong-Woo was merely handed the banner by a member of the crowd and paraded it around the pitch without actually checking what it said – believing it to be a South Korean flag.

He’s got until August 16th to try and prove to FIFA and the IOC that that was the case.

Posted in FAIL, Olympic Football

Share this article: Email


  1. Jessica says:

    It does not make any of sense; Japanese held a flag what we call 욱일승천기 or rising sun flag in english, which represents Japanese imprialism over other asian countries in the past. It was used as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army and the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy until the end of World War II. And it was even banned after the war since it mocks the victims of the history. AND JAPANESE USED IT AT AFC ANSIAN CUP 2011. Imagine German held a Nazi flag at sports event. Its the same thing. The difference is that German do not do such things but Japanese DID. And there was no disadvantage like this at all. Plus, 3 Japanese gymnasts actually wore uniforms designed with the flag at the olympic 2012 and they got medals. And it was even after the actuall game was over, just celebrating themselves.

  2. slamdrum says:

    Dokdo is a South Korean territory. End of story. The IOC may take away Park’s bronze medal, but the Japs will never rob our territory AGAIN!!

  3. Toz says:

    Last time I checked, Japan lost the war. They have no right to ask for any territory back as far as I’m concerned.

  4. GlennSWFC says:

    You can always trust sports governing bodies to bring someone’s message to the forefront by taking a stance against it

  5. Terry Shedingham says:

    Seems like there are a fair few idiotic players in South Korea. Mustn’t forget the twat that plays for Celtic who directed the monkey gesture at Japan after he scored – kind of like John Terry calling Olof Mellberg a “white bastard”

  6. Terry Shedingham says:

    This debate stretches back centuries.

  7. John Lennon says:

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

  8. jessica`s bro says:

    take your lukewarm troll attempts elsewhere, try-hard

  9. Del says:

    You said it John Lennon.

  10. Micheal says:

    Obviously, It seems that Korea has ambitious to get this land as territory. Because If this land has already their country, they wouldn’t declare it. and don’t need mention about it. For example, USA people don’t say “New York is our territory.” However, they claim Dokto is our territory in Olympic field. For they try to increase people who agree with Korean side. Now,They are occupying this land illegally. They refuse to attend ICJ. Because They are afraid of lose it. They always escape from ICJ. Anyway,By this olympic game, Everybody know Korean is abnormal all over the world such as Korean woman athlete sitting long time for protest on fencing game and Korean foot ball player running with political banner. They are against Olympic rule and manner.These fact would never change. Korean athlete are absolutely wrong. They brought political ideology to Olympic field. Olympic is festival of peace. They got to mud with vital concept. They must consider this problem as member of world.

  11. Hannah says:

    …no…Korea are responding to Japan’s ‘ambition’ to get this land as territory. We don’t declare it, we simply state it in response to Japan’s attempt to declare this land as their own. This is why Korea refuse to go to international court over the issue and Japan keep pressing to take the issue to court. For Koreans, there shouldn’t even BE an ‘issue’ to be ‘settled’ because the issue IS settled: Dokdo is Korean land. You’re absolutely right, Americans wouldn’t declare ‘New York is our territory’. Koreans didn’t either until the Japanese suddenly took it upon themselves to declare that Dokdo was ‘Takeshima’ and belonged to ‘them’.

    As for bringing political ideology to the Olympics, the design of some of the uniforms worn by the Japanese in this year’s olympics, such as that of the gymnasts, was clearly taken from the Rising Sun Flag – a Japanese flag which stands as a symbol for imperialism.

  12. matt says:

    As an outsider…i don’t care about the land…I care about sportsmanship. Park held up the flag he should be punished…if Japan wore Rising Sun suits they should be punished as well. I don’t know why S.K. does this but they constantly bring politics and bad sportsmanship to the games (2002 World Cup after the Korean scored imitationg Ohno and mocking the USA…sending judges threatening emails and publishing their contact info when they receive a judgment that they don’t agree with). Why? And it won’t stop here…guaranteed it’ll happen in the next international sporting event. This is one angry nation with a chip on its shoulder!!

  13. justice human    says:

    This is the decisive evidence that the Korea Football Association ‘KFA’ was getting involved.


    Other Korean players did not try to stop even who while being seeing the violation deed.

    The violation deed in the London Olympic that everyone of the Korean soccer player did is decisive by this.

Leave a Reply