Australian coach racially abused at China's National Games
In the latest embarrassment at China’s 12th National Games, an Australian coach working for team Jiangsu suffered racial slurs during a scuffle with an assistant in the Beijing women's rugby sevens team.
The incident occurred after the man criticised the Beijing team for refusing to play the last five minutes against Shandong in the final in Shenyang, Chinese media reported.
The Beijing team, reduced to five players after receiving two red cards, were trailing 22-0 when they staged a protest at the refereeing and stood motionless on the pitch.
A Beijing coach also demanded the Spanish referee be replaced, the reports said.
Shandong ran in try after try to win by an astonishing 71-0.
“But the referee did nothing wrong,” said the unnamed Australian coach from team Jiangsu, who allegedly lashed out at the Beijing assistant. ”What you did was not ethical,” he said.
This infuriated the Beijing staffer, who shouted back: “It’s none of your business, N*****.”
A scuffle then ensued.
It was not immediately clear if the slur was uttered in English or Chinese, but it was a "very offensive racial slur", the report said.
The drama was followed by an apology letter issued by the Beijing delegation on Tuesday night.
“We apologise for the negative behaviour of our athletes today,” the letter said.
Rugby sevens has been gaining popularity in China with 700 registered professional players, according to a Xinhua report. It will make its debut in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Women's rugby is also becoming more popular in the mainland.
In an earlier blunder by the games committee, an American football - instead of a rugby ball - was featured with the mascot “Ningning” in an official ad. It caused an outcry online after being spotted by net users.