South Korean victorious under-18 team were stripped of the Panda Cup on Thursday after they enraged hosts China with their celebrations.
China lodged a complaint as South Korean U18 footballers disrespected Panda Cup trophy by posing for a photo with a foot on trophy.
The Chengdu Football Association, which organized the Panda Cup, released a statement accusing the South Korea players of “serious insult” and said it would be “taking back” the trophy.
Though the South Korean players asked for forgiveness, the apology was not accepted and players had to let go of the trophy.
South Korean U18 squad along with the coaches subsequently made a public apology in which all the players and staff bowed their heads.
The Chengdu FA also released video footage of the team’s apology, in which the squad stood together with heads bowed in their hotel as the player involved apologized.
The photograph caused an uproar when released in Chinese media, including social media, with the organizing committee accusing the Koreans of “a serious insult”.