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FIFA World Cup

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Colombia FA chief hopes Cardona avoids punishment for eye gesture

Colombian Football Federation president Ramon Jesurun is optimistic Edwin Cardona will avoid punishment from FIFA after making an eye gesture that sparked a racism controversy last month.

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed to ESPN FC that a case had been opened by the world's football governing body against Cardona and is ongoing after the midfielder's gesture toward South Korean players during an international friendly between the sides on Nov. 10.

Cardona, 24, came on as a substitute in the game that South Korea won 2-1 in Suwon.

His actions were condemned by the Korean media and captain Ki Sung-Yeung, who described the episode as "racist behaviour."

Cardona, who is playing on loan at Boca Juniors from Mexican side Monterrey, apologised in a video posted on Twitter by the Colombian Football Federation, saying his gesture was "misinterpreted." 

Edwin Cardona in action during last month's friendly with South Korea.

FIFA has tried to clamp down on racism and if it determines that Cardona committed a racist infraction, he could be suspended for at least five games, meaning he could miss Colombia's opening World Cup games.

However, Jesurun told AS Colombia: "There is an investigation. We responded [to FIFA] and we are awaiting an absolute benign outcome regarding this issue, but I don't know when it will be."

Colombia finished fourth in their qualifying campaign, taking CONMEBOL's last direct World Cup spot for Russia.

Los Cafeteros have been drawn with Poland, Japan and Senegal in Group H.

They begin their World Cup campaign against Japan on June 19 before facing Poland five days later.

The South American side play their final group-stage match against Senegal on June 28.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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