Ki Sung-yeung was attempting to deflect the heat from himself by claiming he was trying to highlight racism in Scottish football with his controversial Asian Cup goal celebration, an expert on racism in football has said.
Celtic midfielder Ki opened the scoring for South Korea in their Asian Cup semi-final against Japan, a fixture the latter won on penalties after coming back to earn a 2-2 draw, and reacted by apparently impersonating a monkey.
The celebration was widely perceived as a slight on South Korea's opponents, causing a storm in the Japanese media.
However, Ki explained his actions were intended to draw attention to offensive behaviour the player says he has been subjected to with Celtic.
Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby questioned Ki's justification for his behaviour and the Scottish link.
"It doesn't ring true to me that that's what it was about," Grebby told Press Association Sport.
"My understanding is he has done it to offend the Japanese and then it has caused a controversy."
Ki may have been referring to incidents during Celtic's 3-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on October 30, 2010.
Following the match, St Johnstone issued a statement on their official website to say they would be investigating claims that Celtic players were subjected to "racist noises" during the match.
The match took place on a day when both teams showed their support for Show Racism the Red Card's annual fortnight of action.
At the time Ki's fellow Korea international Cha Du-ri said: "When Ki had the ball, two supporters jumped up and started making monkey noises in unison.
"I played for eight years in Germany and I have never seen anything like that.
"The incident is shameful and I feel angry about it. I told the coach this when we had dinner after the game."
Following the latest controversy in the continental tournament, a Korea Football Association spokesman attempted to explain Ki's actions.
"The treatment he got from the Scottish league, especially in the away games, the people who made noises like the sound of monkeys in Scotland when he played away games, that is something he wanted to highlight," said the spokesman.
"Even though they call him a monkey as an Asian, he wanted to show how strong they are in Asia. That was the main intention."
The Japanese Football Association accepted their Korean counterparts' explanation of the incident and neither they, nor the Asian Football Confederation, are intending to pursue the matter further.
The AFC also confirmed there has been no contact from FIFA over the issue.
"We are aware of the goal celebration but we don't think it impacts on any country," said AFC tournament director Tokuaki Suzuki.
"The issue, according to my understanding, has already been resolved after communication between the Japan Football Association and the Korea Football Association.
"AFC will not take any legal action in this matter."