Swiss Olympic soccer player Michel Morganella has been expelled from the London Olympics over an allegedly racist and threatening tweet the player wrote following the Swiss team’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of the South Koreans on Sunday, Reuters reports.
Morganella was told to pack his bags after the Swiss team ruled that his tweet — in which he said that South Koreans “can go burn” and referred to them as a “bunch of mongoloids” — “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people,” Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said during a press conference.
Gilli, who read the statement in German and refused to field any questions, said Morganella’s comments were in direct violation of the International Olympic Committee’s and the Swiss team’s ethics codes.
“As a consequence of this behaviour Michel Morganella, having conferred with the Swiss Football Association, is immediately stripped of his Olympic accreditation and all future participation in the Olympic tournament.
“The Swiss team will now focus entirely on the next match. I wish the team inner peace and serenity,” Gilli said.
Morganella becomes the second athlete at the London Olympics to receive their marching orders following Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou’s expulsion from the summer games after insensitive remarks were made towards African immigrants.
Following his dismissal from the summer games, 23-year-old Morganella issued an statement. “I apologize sincerely to the people of South Korea, to the players, but equally to the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. It’s clear that I’m accepting the consequence.”
He went on to add, “After the disappointing result and the reaction from Korea that followed, I made a huge error.”
The Washington Post reported that Morganella’s tweet was the result of provocation after insulting comments were sent to his Twitter account following Sunday’s match. Nevertheless the Swiss delegate made clear that it had no choice but to remove the player as his outburst violated the International Olympic Committee’s code of conduct, which requires athletes show mutual respect among one another.