When is a metaphor no longer a metaphor? 

Apparently the head of the South Korean soccer federation felt insulted by a comment the AFC chair made a while back. As is somewhat typical of Korean culture, the Korean chief is taking things just a smidge too personally:

The Korean Football Association (KFA) said it "strongly denounced" Bin Hammam's comments in Arabic about its president Cho Chung-yun, which they said translated as a threat to cut off his head.

Bin Hammam said the comment was a metaphor that had been poorly translated.

"He must offer an open apology for his remarks," KFA spokesman Yoo Young-cheol was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

"The KFA strongly denounces (him) for making unutterable and improper remarks (against South Korean officials) in media interviews," he said, adding that the KFA would draft a petition against the president if he failed to retract the comment.

Then again, given some recent events and the general state of relations between the Middle East and the rest of the world, perhaps these Arabic-speaking types might consider laying off that particular idiom in mixed company for a while.

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