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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:03am
CommentInsight & Opinion

Racist Hongkongers who abused Philippine players and fans must be punished

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 8:18am

Racial abuse is nothing to be proud of, not amusing, nor clever; it is shameful. That is the only way a section of supporters of the Hong Kong soccer team who gestured and hurled slurs and objects at fans of the Philippines during an international friendly at Mong Kok stadium on Tuesday night can view their actions. Such behaviour is shocking, a disgrace and an infringement of race discrimination laws and international football codes of conduct. The incident is not one to be noted and then forgotten - those involved have to be made an example of so that there can be no repeat.

The Philippines has not been in favour with Hong Kong people since a hostage taker shot dead seven tourists and their guide and injured several others in Manila in 2010. A black travel alert unreasonably still in effect gives a flawed impression of the country and its people. The ill-will is heightened by maritime disputes between Manila and Beijing and Taipei. But those are political matters, not sporting ones - nor, given our laws on discrimination, should they be in any way racial.

Filipinos have every right to be outraged. They had gone to the stadium to cheer on their team, not endure taunts and ridicule. Their national anthem was disrespected when it was played, they were insulted by being called derogatory names and plastic bottles were among items thrown at them. The barrage of discrimination worsened after the Philippines won the game 1-0.

Such behaviour is uncharacteristic of Hong Kong soccer fans. They are renowned for being good-natured, even when rivalries are fierce. Typical was the atmosphere when Hong Kong hosted the East Asian Games in 2009; each goal and significant play was cheered, no matter which team was behind it. This is as sporting events should be - non-partisan, welcoming to outsiders and convivial.

Yet what was on show on Tuesday night was more typical of racially charged matches in Europe. Racial discrimination by players, officials and supporters has long been a blot on the game and the organising bodies Fifa and Uefa are toughening penalties after a series of high-profile scandals. Suspensions will be lengthened, fines increased and stadiums partially closed to spectators. Those behind the abuse in Hong Kong have to be traced and dealt with under rules our national team has to abide by as a member of Fifa. If local race discrimination laws have been broken, punishment has to be meted out.

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This article is now closed to comments

andinesss
Evidence? wait for it. i was there and witnessed the whole thing. the HK fans will never WANT to experience abuse, humiliation and racism in a match like what happened to us, Filipino fans, last Tuesday.
whymak
Reader Camel:
By George, you've got it! Nothing annoys me more than Hong Kongers unspoken condescension toward our Filipinas guest workers, many of whom are better educated than their employees and perhaps write better English than some semi-illiterates contributing comments in these pages.
How can I tell if it's unspoken? Conspicuous lack of interest in the employees' welfare and their families in the Philippines is a clear indication.
Though trapped hopelessly by typical incompetent democracy, Filipinos are friendly, open and gentle people. Among the nicest crew members I meet on cruises are often Filipinos.
Unfortunately, hostilities between China and Philippines have become quite real.
In the 70s, there was a book titled “The Gentle Tasaday” documenting a Stone Age tribe in Mindanao. Edith Terry, a former editor of SCMP Op-ed page, then still a young Yalie, was in charge of chronicling and documenting the archeological expedition. Subsequent media discoveries exposed this to be a hoax perpetrated by Ferdinand Marcos.
Being young and impressionable, I bought the story lock, stock, and barrel; so did celebs like Charles Lindberg Lindbergh and Gina Lollobrigida, who visited this purportedly Stone Age tribe.
Hong Kong Democracy missionaries and mainland baiters remind me of aggressive people strongly disliked by the Tasaday: People with sharp looks and loud voices.
Zerung
In the 50/60 Philippines was one of the most advance nation in Asia. Marcos put an end to it after his presidential victory in1965. Since then they have been unable to surface or put themselves in order. Even now the country is in a mess and the Pinoys are simply unable to get their acts together.
Whilst receiving thanks and respect from HKongers are due; the domestic helpers underpin HK's success and HK would be lost with out these ladies....They need to get their acts together, get the corrupt, despotic and potty country in order and be in the forefront of the ranks of the Asian nation and get respect without needing to fight for it.
HK-Explorer
Everyone just face the fact. Many Filipinos and hong knowers are equally racist. If you want any proof of that just read all these posts. Nothing really wrong with it as you are always going to get one group of people not liking another.
99% get along with each other just fine.
jersonting
I was born in Hong Kong was educated in Australia from primary school and suffered racist abuse daily. If i was a Filipino, Indian, or other "darker-skinned" student from S. E Asia and studied in Hong Kong, I believe I would suffer the same amount of abuse. It's human nature to bully or belittle people you think are lesser than you. The more crowded a city or country is, the more divisive the people are. Just move on with life and use the discriminatory comments against you as motivation to make yourself better than them. Btw, controlling the birth rate in the Philiphines is what the Filipinos need. Too many young single mothers living in utter poverty with 3 or more kids is a fact that the Catholics have to reevaluate in this crowded world.
gt63
The question is why The Hing Kong Football Association arrange such match during this moment that they are doing the right thing in a wrong timing. What Hong Kong people need a formal apology and concur what their misbehavior caused 7 Hong Kong people death!!!
caractacus
The Hong Kong Football Association should recognise that such ugly incidents are an unacceptable face of the game. It must take action to prevent any recurrence. Officials and marshalls at matches should work with the police to identify offenders, arrest them and have them prosecuted.
impala
Agreed. This behaviour should not be tolerated.

It has only been a couple of years since the Racial Discrimination Ordinance was enacted. This is an example of when it should be enforced. Let the police begin by properly investigate the unfortunate events surrounding this match.
Camel
Just face the facts. HK people are generally discriminating other people of different social status (lower) and from other countries/places (exception Westerners - they are gods to them).
Just take for instant the Domestic Helpers from Indonesia, Philipines and somewhere else. The way how they treat people defines their character.In fact, all Philipinos/as are in the eyes of HKners DH no matter if they're wearing a suit and tie, being a soccer player or own a restaurant/bar. Then many domestic helpers are being abused by their HKner bosses. Many stories have been told about this, but the DH won't get any rights and are being bullied by the authourities as well. Sleeping in a box, in the kitchen next to the sink, in the toilet, getting only the remainings to eat and have to work 7 days without rest days and aren't get compensated. then getting fired without notice as well, just to name a few. We should be proud of ourself for our highly ranked and educated society? I don't think so. Just see how they talk and treat the Mainlanders, who are of their own kind. So what do you expect? That's HK with its people.
Dai Muff
Suggest you take a look at some of the racist comments on the Lantau cattle articles.

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