Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona has been handed a five-match suspension by FIFA for making a racist gesture towards South Korean players during a friendly match last month.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee ruled that Cardona made a “discriminatory gesture” during the 2-1 friendly loss to the South Koreans at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on November 10.
The incident, which happened about an hour into the match, saw Cardona performing a ‘slanty-eye’ gesture in the direction of Korean captain Ki Sung-yeung.
There were calls for Cardona to be severely punished, with John Duerden arguing that ruling the 25-year old out of next summer’s World Cup would send a stern message that such racist behaviour would not be tolerated.
FIFA, however, said that the suspension would be “served during the upcoming friendly matches,” which means he is likely to have served the ban before the start of the tournament.
Cardona, who plays for Boca Juniors in Argentina, is therefore expected to be available for selection for the World Cup, where Colombia have been drawn with with Poland, Senegal and Japan in Group H.