member of South Korea youth team
A member of South Korea youth team of under-18 squad posing for a picture with his foot on the trophy after winning the youth international competition in Chengdu, China's Sichuan province. Image Credit: AFP

Shanghai: South Korea’s victorious Under-18 team were stripped of the Panda Cup on Thursday after they infuriated hosts China with their celebrations.

The Koreans had already apologised to “all the people in China” after a picture emerged of a player with his foot on the trophy.

The Koreans were accused of disrespect after they defeated the home side 3-0 on Wednesday to win the annual youth international competition in the city of Chengdu.

The photograph caused uproar in Chinese media and on social media, with the organising committee accusing the Koreans of “a serious insult”.

South Korea’s squad and coaches subsequently made a public apology in which all the players and staff bowed deeply.

But with Chinese media fanning the flames, and claims that Korean players also pretended to urinate against the cup, the Chengdu Football Association made clear that apologies were not enough.

“The Panda Cup organising committee decided to take back the trophy won by the Korean team this time,” it said in a statement.

The association, which called the players’ behaviour “indecent”, suggested that South Korea would not be invited back in future.