Uruguay’s 2-0 win over Ghana during group H matches wasn’t enough to advance, and it wasn’t enough to divert fans’ attention from an old image of Uruguayan soccer star Frederico Valverde making an offensive “slant eyes” gesture.
The image was taken during the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea, but it went viral once again following South Korea’s win over Portugal 2-1 on Friday.
Both Korea and Uruguay were in the running to obtain the second spot behind Portugal in the group H rankings to advance to the knockout rounds. Although they did not directly compete against each other, the two teams were vying for the same spot in their matches.
Fans proclaimed karma was on Korea’s side after the picture was unearthed by Twitter user @bennufc_18.
“Celebrated like this against Korea in 2017 and now he’s getting knocked out by them, Karma,” one Twitter user wrote.
Celebrated like this against Korea in 2017 and now he’s getting knocked out by them, Karma pic.twitter.com/c0AXZjT88V
— BDM🇳🇱 (@bennufc_18) December 2, 2022
“Literally celebrated like this against korea in 017. i need these guys OUTTT,” another said.
literally celebrated like this against korea in 017. i need these guys OUTTT pic.twitter.com/lEoH2WSAzW
— mel (@ackermeI_) December 2, 2022
While fans claimed that Valverade’s racially insensitive celebration depicted in the photo occurred in a match between Uruguay and South Korea, the photo was actually taken during a match between Uruguay and Portugal during the youth championship’s quarterfinals.
Valverde tried to defend himself at the time by saying the gesture was meant to pay tribute to a friend whose nickname is “El Chino,” which is Spanish for “the Chinese.”
“Was dedicated to his friend at home, who was nicknamed el chino. That friend took it and even tattooed it. Acknowledge that you were stupid to assume it was racism now please,” a Twitter user wrote.
Was dedicated to his friend at home, who was nicknamed el chino. That friend took it and even tattooed it. Acknowledge that you were stupid to assume it was racism now please. pic.twitter.com/6KJyxjICGC
— Julian Aguilera (@InsuredFrames) December 2, 2022
Featured Image via Getty