Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona has been given a five-match international ban after FIFA found he made a “discriminatory” gesture during a game against South Korea.
The Boca Juniors star made a gesture with his eyes at Korea players after a clash involving James Rodriguez and Kim Jin-su.
Although Cardona denied all wrongdoing, Korea international Ki Sung-yueng described the behaviour as “absolutely unacceptable” after the match.
Colombia, who have been drawn alongside Poland, Japan and Senegal for the World Cup in Russia, have one fixture scheduled, a game against France in March.
But with more friendlies expected to be booked in, Cardona is still likely to serve the ban in time to take his place in Colombia’s first Group H game against Japan on June 19.
“The Colombian player Edwin Cardona has been sanctioned for making a discriminatory gesture at an opponent during the friendly match played between the representative teams of Korea Republic and Colombia on November 10 2017,” FIFA’s statement read.
“Cardona has received a five-match suspension on the basis of art. 58 par. 1a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, with the suspension to be served during the upcoming friendly matches of the Colombian representative team, as well as a stadium ban for those five matches and a fine of CHF 20,000 (£15,092).”