Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-yeung has claimed he was trying to highlight racism in Scottish football with the controversial Asian Cup goal celebration which sparked outrage in Japan.
Ki opened the scoring for South Korea in their Asian Cup semi-final against Japan, a fixture the latter won on penalties after coming back to earn a 2-2 draw, and reacted by apparently impersonating a monkey. The celebration was widely perceived as a slight on South Korea's opponents and caused a storm in the Japanese media
But a Korea Football Association spokesman said: "The treatment he got from the Scottish league, especially in the away games, the people who made noises like the sound of the monkeys in Scotland when he played away games, that is something he wanted to highlight."
He added: "Even though they call him a monkey as an Asian, he wanted to show how strong they are in Asia. That was the main intention."
The Japanese Football Association accepted their Korean counterparts' explanation of the incident and neither they, nor the Asian Football Confederation, are intending to pursue the matter further. The AFC also confirmed there has been no contact from FIFA over the issue.
"We are aware of the goal celebration but we don't think it impacts on any country," said AFC tournament director Tokuaki Suzuki.
"The issue, according to my understanding, has already been resolved after communication between the Japan Football Association and the Korea Football Association.
"AFC will not take any legal action in this matter."