LONDON, England ● Switzerland defender Michel Morganella has been sent home from the Olympics for making racist comments on Twitter after his soccer side’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.
Morganella, who plays for Serie A side Palermo, was expelled from the Swiss squad after posting an offensive tweet that said South Koreans should “burn” and that they were a “bunch of mongoloids”.
The Swiss Olympic delegation acted swiftly to condemn the 23-year-old’s actions, sending home from the London Games.
“He discriminated, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football team and people,” Swiss team chief Gian Gilli said on Monday.
Former FC Basel right-back Morganella, who had played in both of Switzerland’s games at the Olympics and has previously won one cap for his country at senior level, issued an apology for his behaviour.
“I made a huge mistake after a disappointing result,” Morganella said. “I wish to apologise to the people in South Korea and their team, but also to the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general.”
Morganella is the second athlete to be sent home from the 2012 Olympics because of a tweet, following the expulsion of Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou, who made disparaging remarks about African immigrants in her country before later apologising for what she described as an “unfortunate and tasteless joke”.
Switzerland have taken just one point from Group B so far and must beat Mexico in their final fixture at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium this Wednesday to have any chance of progress to the Olympic quarter-finals.