2012/10/04 17:25 KST
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Footballer to receive Olympic pension, regardless of FIFA ruling

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean footballer who had his Olympics football bronze medal suspended in August due to a controversial post-game celebration will receive a medalist pension regardless of FIFA's ruling on his case, sports officials here said Thursday.

   At the London Olympics, the South Korean men's team defeated Japan 2-0 to win the bronze medal, the country's first Olympic medal in football. After the match, 23-year-old player Park Jong-woo displayed a placard given him by a fan in the stands that read in Korean, "Dokdo is our territory." Dokdo is a group of the nation's easternmost islets, which Japan also claims as its territory.


Park was subsequently barred from the medal ceremony, as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deemed his action political.

   The Korea Sports Promotion Foundation said it has decided to include the South Korean midfielder on the payroll for a medalist pension, prior to FIFA's ruling due later this month.

   The foundation will hold a pension-awarding ceremony for London Olympic medalists, including Park, in Seoul Friday.

   In South Korea, Olympic gold medalists receive 1 million won (US$900) every month during their lifetime, with 750,000 won paid to silver medalists and 525,000 won to bronze medalists.

   FIFA will hold a disciplinary committee meeting in Switzerland on Friday to decide whether to take further disciplinary action against Park. FIFA's ruling is expected to delivered to Seoul via the IOC in late October.

   In August, Seoul's Military Manpower Administration said Park will still be eligible for the military exemption given to all medalists despite not having collected his bronze medal from the London Olympics.