A member of the Myanmar national football team who performed the 'three-finger salute', a sign of resistance to the military coup d'état, during the World Cup qualifiers held in Japan last month, did not return home and applied for asylum in Japan.

According to Kyodo News and NHK Broadcasting, the Myanmar national football team's substitute goalkeeper, Phi Lien Aung, told reporters at Kansai Airport in Japan last night (16th) that he would not return to Myanmar, but remain in Japan and apply for refugee status.

The Myanmar national football team was due to return to Myanmar by plane yesterday, but Lianne Aung did not board the flight to Myanmar after she informed the immigration office of the airport that she wanted to apply for asylum.

He explained the reason for applying for asylum, saying to reporters through an interpreter, "(After the three-finger salute) the military came to his house in Myanmar." "If you return to Myanmar, your life could be in danger."

He explained that although he had almost given up on expressing his thoughts to immigration, he had courage at the last minute.

Lianne Aung was worried about the well-being of others, saying that if the military tried to arrest family members or fellow athletes because of her decision, she would return to Myanmar and be arrested instead, NHK reported.

(Photo=SNS capture, Yonhap News)