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FIFA to hear case over South Korea Olympic protest

by
Brazil's Romulo (L) scores a goal past South Korea's Yun Suk-young during their men's semi-final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Gam
Brazil's Romulo (L) scores a goal past South Korea's Yun Suk-young during their men's semi-final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Gam

ZURICH (Reuters) - The case of the South Korean soccer player who inflamed a diplomatic row with Japan by waving a political placard at the London Olympic soccer tournament will be heard again by FIFA's disciplinary committee on Tuesday.

The committee, which has to decide whether Park Jong-woo will face suspension for his protest at the end of the bronze medal match against Japan, failed to reach a verdict when it previously heard the case in October.

A FIFA spokesman said that, even if a decision is reached on Tuesday, it would not be announced for several days as a full report has to be written and translated before the outcome can be made public.

The midfielder held up a sign referring to a territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan while celebrating a 2-0 win over their fierce rivals

Park was handed the sign, which read "Dokdo is our territory", by a fan but his actions prompted soccer's world governing body to open disciplinary proceedings against him.

He was banned from the medal ceremony but the Korea Football Association (KFA) told the Yonhap news agency last month Park had been sent a certificate via the country's Olympic Committee confirming that he would receive his bronze.

The decision regarding the medal is down to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) while FIFA decides on any suspension.

FIFA will also hear the case of Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld who is accused of making an insulting gesture at the referee during the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Norway in October.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich coach was captured by television cameras showing his middle finger - known in German as the "Stinkefinger" - to the official at the end of game.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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