Colombia's Edwin Cardona has apologised after sparking a racism controversy during his team's 2-0 loss to South Korea in Friday's friendly.
The Colombian midfielder made a gesture with his eyes toward South Korean players in the second half of Friday night's game at Suwon World Cup Stadium, south of Seoul.
"I didn't mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry,'' Cardona said in a video posted on the Colombia team's Twitter account.
Two goals from Tottenham's Son Heung-min gave the South Koreans a first win since March but Cardona's actions, visible on the television broadcast, received considerable attention.
"I want to say I am not an aggressive person," said Cardona, who plays for Boca Juniors in Argentina. "I am sorry that something that happened during the game has been misinterpreted."
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) November 10, 2017
Cardona's actions were condemned by the Korean media and captain Ki Sung-Yeung.
"The Colombians were really physical, which can happen in football,'' said Ki, who plays for Swansea City in the Premier League. "Racist behavior is unacceptable, however. Colombia is a team full of world-class players and it was disappointing to see this kind of thing."
This is not the first racist controversy on a South Korean pitch this year.
During the 2017 Under-20 World Cup in June, Uruguay midfielder Federico Valverde reportedly made a similar gesture after scoring a goal, although he insisted it was a private celebration meant for his friends.
Colombia head to China for another World Cup warm-up match on Tuesday, while South Korea host Serbia.