July 08, 2013 13:35
Footballer Ki Sung-yueng has apologized for slandering former Korean national team manager Choi Kang-hee on his Facebook page. The page has since been closed.
Ki, who is in the Netherlands with his team Swansea, issued the apology through his agent on Friday. "I apologize for causing so much concern to many fans and the football community with my mischievous and inappropriate remarks," he wrote. He admitted that he was the one who posted sarcastic comments about Choi on his Facebook page to privately share thoughts and feelings with close friends.
Before and after Korea's match against Kuwait in February 2012, the third round of the Asian qualifiers for next year's World Cup, Ki wrote, "Thanks for selecting me to the national team even though I play for a mere second-tier league in Europe."
This referred to Choi's earlier disparaging remarks about the Scottish Premier League, where he said the overall level of play is with the exception of Celtics not very high.
After the match, Ki wrote, "Now everyone should have realized the value of the players who play overseas. [He] should have left us alone, otherwise, [he] will be hurt."
In Friday's apology, Ki said, "I had no intention of making this Facebook page public. I used the page with my friends until a year ago. Because those comments should not have been made by a member of the national team, I deeply apologize. I will do my best to dispel all the worries I have caused to the fans and fellow footballers and officials by concentrating on football."
The Korea Football Association will discuss whether to refer Ki to a disciplinary committee.
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