|This photo, captured from Russian website Sport 24, shows Sergio Busato, an assistant coach for the Russian national women's volleyball team, making a racist gesture after his team beat Korea at an Olympic qualifying tournament match in Kaliningrad, Russia, Aug. 4. Yonhap|
By Jung Min-ho
Russia's governing body for volleyball has apologized over its women's national team coach's racist gesture following a recent match against Korea.
According to the Korea Volleyball Association (KVA) Tuesday, its Russian counterpart, the RVF, and Sergio Busato, an Italian-born assistant coach for Russia, apologized in a statement over his "slant-eye" gesture toward Korean players.
This comes after the KVA filed complaints with the RVF and the international governing body for the sport, FIVB, against his behavior after the two teams' Olympic qualifying tournament game in Kaliningrad, Russia, Aug. 4.
"The coach claimed he was just expressing joy after winning a ticket to the Olympics and had no intention to offend or disrespect the Korean team," the KVA said.
"The RVF said it suspended him for two international matches as a penalty."
In a post-match celebration, Busato was photographed making the gesture, which is widely considered racist against Asians
Meanwhile, the FIVB is conducting its own review on the KVA's complaint.
The FIVB told The Korea Times that Busato's gesture "does not reflect" its values.
"It is important to stress that the FIVB does not approve of any such culturally insensitive gestures, even if there was no intention to offend," the FIVB said. "The FIVB is committed to fostering better understanding and tolerance of the sport's rich cultural and ethnic diversity.
"The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all its member federations to ensure that this work is reflected throughout the global volleyball community."