Taiwanese hackers launched cyber-attacks on Asia's top taekwondo body as anger mounted on the island over the controversial disqualification of a female fighter in the Asian Games, reports said Friday.
Hackers wrote "Shame on you" and "Give back the gold" on the Asian Taekwondo Union's website, amid accusations that China and South Korea were behind the decision to disqualify the Taiwanese athlete, the Central News Agency said.
The hackers added an image of a hand with its middle finger raised on top of the flags of the two countries, along with a message stating that "we are all Taiwanese", it reported.
On Friday the website's homepage bore a message in Korean saying it was temporarily down "because of excessive traffic", while a Taekwondo Union official told AFP: "Our website remains paralysed today for unknown reasons."
Taiwan is in uproar over the fate of Yang Shu-chun, a gold medal hopeful, who was disqualified on Wednesday from the Asian Games in Guangzhou, southern China, for using extra sensors in her socks.
Television footage showed a man burning a South Korean paper flag in a Taipei street Thursday.
President Ma Ying-jeou has called for a probe into the incident to ensure fair treatment for Taiwanese athletes, while politicians and media of opposing views rallied behind Yang.
"We will defend our national dignity and the rights of our sportsmen ... we will not just swallow it if our athlete is wronged," Premier Wu Den-yih told reporters.
Anti-Korean sentiments were mounting, with more than 350,000 people joining a Facebook campaign to support Yang, as fans accused South Korean judges of deliberately kicking her out, said the Apple Daily.
Some fans also called for a boycott of South Korean food, television drama and other products, while several restaurants complained that their business was suffering in the wake of the row, the report said.
The removal of Yang, Taiwan's top taekwondo fighter, was especially painful for the diplomatically isolated island which sees the Korean martial art as a rare chance to shine on the world stage.
Many Taiwanese shed tears of joy when two taekwondo athletes won the island's first gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the sport has only grown in popularity on the island since.
Yang, 25, was disqualified because she had an extra electronic sensor taped to each of her heels in an effort to score more points, according to the World Taekwondo Federation.
She has insisted the sensors were within the rules and that she had no intention of manipulating or cheating in the match.
China said Friday it was "regretful" over the disqualification, while world taekwondo chiefs said a full inquiry would be held into the incident, although a final decision would only be made once the Games conclude on Nov. 27. (AFP)