Swiss football player Michel Morganella has been expelled from the country's national team for the 2012 London Olympics for posting racist comments on Twitter, it was announced Monday.
The Swiss Olympic team chief, Gian Gilli, said Morganella has been stripped of his Olympic accreditation for posting an offensive message aimed at South Korean people after Switzerland lost 2-1 to South Korea on Sunday.
"He discriminated, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football team and people. We would like to apologize, especially to the South Korea National Olympic Committee and the South Korea Football Association for the behavior of the player,' Gilli said through a translator at a news conference held Monday.
In his controversial tweet posted after Sunday's match during which he received a yellow card,, the 23-year-old defender reportedly wrote the South Koreans "can go burn," and referred to them as a "bunch of mongoloids."
Morganella has since deleted his tweeter post and issued an apology for his thoughtless action, telling reporters: "I made a huge mistake after a disappointing result."
Accepting the consequences of his action, Morganella added: "I wish to apologize to the people in South Korea and their team, but also to the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general."
The development comes ahead of Switzerland's final group match against Mexico on Wednesday. Although the European nation's football team has already played two matches in the London, it has received only one point thus far. The single point for the Swiss team came from a 1-1 draw with Gabon in Newcastle on Thursday.
Incidentally, Morganella is the second Olympic athlete to be expelled from a national Olympics team for offensive Twitter comments. Last week, Greek Olympic officials had expelled triple jumper Voula Papachristou from the national team for posting an offensive comment about African immigrants on Twitter.
She has since apologized for her thoughtless comments in a statement posted both on her Facebook page and Twitter account, saying she was "very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights".
In her controversial tweet posted on July 22, Papachristou reportedly wrote: "With so many Africans in Greece ... At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!!!"
She was apparently referring to the West Nile Virus infection, transmitted by mosquitoes of African origin, which killed one man in Athens in June. Also, at least 180 cases of the mosquito-borne illness has been reported in Greece since the outbreak this summer.
by RTT Staff Writer
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