You may have heard about an incident that occurred during a J-League soccer match last week between the Kashima Antlers and Sagan Tosu which caused a great deal of furor online. Min-Hyeok Kim, a South Korean player for Tosu stepped on the face of one of his opponents, Mu Kanazaki, when the latter fell to the ground during a battle for the ball. The incident sparked some worryingly racially charged comments online in Japan, despite the fact that most soccer fans weren’t especially upset by it — for them, the problem was solved the moment the yellow card and free kick were given by the referee.

Perhaps to placate the angry online mobs or maybe just because he’s actually not a bad guy, Kim visited Kanazaki this week and apologized for stepping on his face during the game.

Kanazaki promptly accepted the apology from his rival and even suggested that they have their picture taken together.

▼ Kanazaki (left) seems totally relaxed, but Kim (right) may still have been shocked that his formal apology was so readily accepted.

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After the photo-op, the Kashima forward proclaimed, “At our next match, let’s both play with all of our might.”

While it was noble of Kim to step forward and apologize, taking responsibility for his careless (or perhaps deliberate) actions, Kanazaki was a really good sport to readily accept the apology and move on. If only all disputes could end so graciously! Now that this is behind us, we can look forward to an action-packed J-League season with some peace of mind.

Source: Twitter (@atlrs_official) via Hamusoku
Image: Twitter (@atlrs_official)