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Swiss player expelled for 'insulting' tweet

posted 30 Jul 2012, 10:57 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 30 Jul 2012, 10:58 ]

Swiss footballer Michel Morganella expelled from the London Olympics for sending an 'insulting' message on Twitter after his team's defeat by South Korea.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 30, 2012) (REUTERS) - Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was expelled from the London Olympics on Monday (July 30) for sending a message that the Swiss team said "gravely insulted and violated" the dignity of South Korea after his team's 2-1 defeat by the Koreans a day earlier.

"With his public tweet from this morning regarding the match yesterday against South Korea, Michel Morganella as a member of the Swiss Olympic team discriminated, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football team and the South Korean people," Swiss team chief Gian Gilli told reporters.

In the message, with some syllables jumbled, for which he was expelled, Morganella said on Monday morning: "I punch you, South Koreans, go burn..." The rest of the message was considered sufficiently offensive by the Swiss team for Morganella to be sent home.

Gilli, who only read out a statement in German and did not take 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," said Gilli.

The player's tweet has been taken down, and Morganella issued an apology.

The 23-year-old is the second athlete to be expelled over a racist Twitter comment.

Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou was thrown out of her nation's team last week, two days before the Games start.

The Swiss, third in Group B, play Mexico in their next on Aug.1 which is also Switzerland's national day.

The London Games are the first Olympics where social media are so widespread and the International Olympic Committee has urged athletes to tweet but always respecting the Games ethics code which all teams and athletes have signed.