EOC, consulate back Filipino fans over race abuse at Hong Kong soccer match
Outraged Filipino soccer fans subjected to racial abuse from Hong Kong supporters were backed by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Philippines consulate yesterday.
A section of supporters yelled at Philippine fans that they were "all just slaves" during an international friendly at Mong Kok Stadium on Tuesday night.
They threw bottles at women and children and booed the country's national anthem.
When the Philippine players tried to celebrate with their fans after winning 1-0 they were abused and pelted with bottles and other objects.
The Hong Kong Football Association said it could not take action as it did not receive a complaint. But chief executive Mark Sutcliffe said: "Anybody found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from future matches."
The Equal Opportunities Commission called the incident "a form of racial discrimination and vilification". A spokesman said: "We are concerned the invective remarks may … be destructive to social harmony in our community."
A spokesman for the Philippines consulate said: "We are concerned about unfortunate incidents before, during and after the match … Discrimination should have no place in any society, especially Hong Kong, which prides itself as Asia's world city."
Tensions have simmered between Hong Kong and the Philippines since a sacked policeman hijacked a tour bus in Manila in 2010 and shot dead seven Hong Kong tourists and their guide.
A black travel warning - the highest - imposed after the tragedy is still in force.
Last month Philippine President Benigno Aquino vowed to defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid a dispute with China over islands in the South China Sea.