Ki Sung-Yeung claims he was having a go at Scottish football fans when he acted like a monkey after he scored for South Korea during the week.
The 22-year old Celtic midfielder netted in South Korea's eventual Asian Cup semi-final loss to arch enemies Japan and during his goal celebration pulled a face like a monkey and scratched himself.
This a traditional insult from Koreans to Japanese and Ki has been labeled as a racist for inciting fans of the Blue Samurai but he claims that he did to get back at some supporters in Scotland who do the same to him when he plays for Celtic.
"That performance was not directed at Japanese people. When I play at Celtic, our opponents' fans call me a monkey and the celebration was towards people who make such racist remarks," he said.
Hoops teammate Cha Du-Ri backed Ki's claim, saying he heard and saw racist activities when Celtic took on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park earlier this season.
"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," he said.
"The incident is shameful and I feel angry about it. I told the coach."
A South Korea FA spokesman added: "The people who made noises like the sound of the monkeys in Scotland when he played away games, that is something he wanted to highlight.
"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."