Koreans defend Swiss player after race row

South Korean netizens have expressed sympathy for Swiss footballer Michel Morganella, after he was sent home from the Olympics for racially abusing South Korea's players on Twitter.

Morganella had directed an offensive jibe at the players after Switzerland's 2-1 defeat to the Asian side on Sunday.
"Michel Morganella has discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football team, as well as the South Korean people," Switzerland Olympic team chef de mission Gian Gilli said on Monday.
"While the committee felt that Michel had been provoked on his Twitter account and that he has publicly apologised, the Swiss Olympic Committee and
Swiss Football Association condemn Morganella's actions to the fullest."
In a post on Twitter that was later deleted, Morganella wrote: "I am going to batter the Koreans, burn them all… bunch of 'trisos'."
'Trisos' is a French slang word for people born with Down's Syndrome.
However, many South Korean Internet users said the player had been sorely provoked by Korean comments on social media.
South Korean fans had found Morganella's Facebook page and posted thousands of strong criticisms, both in English and Korean, about the way he played
during Sunday's match. The comments were later deleted.
"He played unfairly during the competition, but it's too much to swear at him even on his Facebook page," said an user identified as Jung Chang-Hoon on
Korean portal His comment received 748 "likes" and 226 "dislikes".
Another user, Bae Sung-Hwan, said: "We already won (the game) so we just had to ignore him. But we just had to visit his Facebook page, talk about his
parents. Even I would be mad. And it was unnecessary to ruin the young player's Olympics."
A user identified as Cho A-Ra said: "We were rude to him on the Internet first and he reacted to it. But saying that he is a racist, I think it's gone
too far."
However, others comments respected the decision made by the Swiss committee and said Morganella deserved to be sent home.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Olympics: ‘Super Dario’ wins Switzerland its first gold medal in South Korea

Dario Cologna has made Olympic history by winning the men’s 15km cross-country freestyle ski event for the third time in a row.

Olympics: ‘Super Dario’ wins Switzerland its first gold medal in South Korea
Dario Cologna celebrates on the podium. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP
Cologna crossed the line 18 seconds ahead of Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger to take the gold medal in Pyeongchang, retaining the title he also won in Vancouver and Sochi.  
The 31-year-old from the Val Müstair in the canton of Graubünden becomes the first cross-country skier to win a hat trick in the same event. 
Now with a total of four gold medals to his name – he also won the skiathlon in Sochi – he also becomes Switzerland’s joint most successful Winter Olympian, along with ski jumper Simon Ammann. 
Also on Friday, Wendy Holdener became the first female Swiss skier in 24 years to win a medal in women's slalom when she took silver.