ROME, June 19 (Reuters) - Italian soccer club Perugia has cut its ties with South Korea's Ahn Jung-hwan after he scored the goal which knocked Italy out of the World Cup, Perugia's chairman was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
'That gentleman will never set foot in Perugia again,' Luciano Gaucci told sports' daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Italy has reacted with fury to Tuesday's shock 2-1 defeat to South Korea, accusing the referee and soccer's ruling body FIFA of fixing the match.
Ahn, who missed a penalty earlier in the match, was hailed as a national hero when he headed home the golden goal winner in the 116th minute.
But his goal was viewed in a different light at Perugia in central Italy, where he has been viewed as an under-achiever during his stay at the club.
'He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behaviour not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offence to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him,' Gaucci was quoted as saying.
'I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer.'
Ahn joined Perugia on loan from the South Korean team Pusan I.cons in the summer of 2000. He scored five goals in 29 appearances.
A Perugia spokesman said on Wednesday the club had virtually decided to release Ahn even before the World Cup tie.