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Football hooliganism in Hong Kong? Filipino fans claim racial abuse

Football match at Mong Kok Stadium turns not-so-friendly

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 June, 2013, 11:28am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 June, 2013, 4:43pm
 

Hong Kong football fans were accused of racial abuse, including yelling “you’re all just slaves”, as an international friendly turned not-so-friendly at Mong Kok Stadium on Tuesday night.

Social media sites were alive on Wednesday morning with Philippines fans accusing a section of the Hong Kong supporters of “calling us a slave nation”, throwing bottles at mostly women and children and booing the Philippine national anthem.

One Filipino called it a “traumatic experience”, while another said she was reduced to tears.

One expatriate fan said he was disgusted by the Hong Kong supporters, who were further incensed as Hong Kong went on to lose the game 1-0.

“At the end of the game there were ugly scenes when the Philippines side tried to celebrate with their fans and were subjected to such abuse - verbal, gestures and physical - as they were pelted with bottles and other objects,” the Englishman told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday morning.

“Then I was even more disgusted to hear some local guys shouting to the group of Philippine men, women and children, who were happily celebrating, that they were 'all just slaves'...and making obscene gestures to them.”

He said they also booed loudly throughout the playing of the national anthem and it was not reciprocated by the many Filipinos during the Chinese anthem, as they stood with reasonable respect.

The expat said he would normally cheer his “home” team Hong Kong, but after “the pathetic and boorish behaviour of the locals during the anthem, and then jeering every time the Filipinos started to cheer their team, I very quickly switched to supporting the underdogs”.

Another fan said security staff tried their best to bring order.

One fan suggested there was still a lot of ill-feeling between Hong Kong and the Philippines after eight Hongkongers died in the Manila hostage crisis in 2010 when sacked policeman Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tour bus and opened fire.

The incident also comes amid debate about racism in Hong Kong after a map created by The Washington Post based on data from the World Values Survey last month revealed that 26.8 per cent of Hongkongers did not want a neighbour of a different race.

Misinterpreted data in an earlier version of the map put the figure at 71.8 per cent, which suggested that Hong Kong was one of the least racially tolerant cities in the world. 

While the revised results were less startling, they were still high by comparison with much of the world, alongside Malaysia, the Philippines and France. 

Were you at the match? Send your photos to onlinenews@scmp.com. And tell us your views in the comments section below, or WhatsApp us on 9100 2699

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