Osaka team protests Korean fans’ ‘earthquake celebration’ sign


Cerezo Osaka

Jeonbuk Motors ran an apology on the South Korean K-League club’s official Website on Sept. 29.

“We apologize to soccer lovers over the controversial behavior of a small number of fans,” read the apology on Jeonbuk’s Website.

OSAKA (majirox news) — J.League team Cerezo Osaka filed a complaint an over South Korean fans posting a sign reading “celebrate the earthquake” during a match in Jeonju, South Korea.

Cerezo complained to the Asian Football Confederation’s match commission during the Sept. 28 Asian Champions League quarter-final at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium, and the sign was removed shortly thereafter.

Although the sign was written in Japanese, Cerezo said its message of “celebrate the earthquake” could be read as an insult to the victims of the March 11 temblor that ravaged Tohoku and triggered a deadly tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis.

Cerezo complained to the match commissioner during the game and the sign was removed, and asked the commissioner to pass on the message to the AFC to avoid a possible repeat of such an incident.

Rubbing salt into the wounds, Cerezo was smashed 6-1 by its South Korean opponent and eliminated from the regional club championship.

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