former Celtic star Ki Sung-yeung has had a long, nervous wait to see whether his interactions on Facebook would cost him a place with the South Korean national team.
He is only 24 but has played more than 50 times for South Korea, won the Scottish title with Celtic, the English League Cup with current club Swansea and recently married one of South Korea’s leading television personalities. Yet the midfielder has never been so unpopular.
On July 4, a columnist with one of South Korea’s big portals Nate.com revealed postings from Ki’s private Facebook account, made in February 2012 after South Korea defeated Kuwait 2-0 in a vital 2014 World Cup qualifier that also marked the first game in charge for coach Choi Kang-hee, who has since stepped down.
Ki came on in the second half with the score at 0-0. “I was so shocked and let down because I didn’t get to play for the first half,” Ki wrote, “but I bet everyone now knows the team needs players from overseas. He (Choi) shouldn’t have touched us, and I hope he doesn’t show his proud face again. Watch out.”
KFA vice-president Huh Jung-moo told reporters that the situation was unprecedented and that Ki would receive a severe warning but no disciplinary action.