Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella (above, right) has been expelled from the 2012 London Olympics, following an offensive post on Twitter that put him in hot water.
On Monday (July 30), Morganella was stripped of his Olympic accreditation and told he cannot participate in Wednesday’s final group match against Mexico. The news comes barely a week after Greece triple jumper Voula Papachristou was similarly dropped after posting a racist comment towards African immigrants.
In this latest episode, Morganella posted a message aimed towards South Koreans after his Swiss team lost 2-1 to their team on Sunday. According to the soccer blog 101 Great Goals, Morganella wrote on Twitter “Je les tous Defonce Cor�ens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos,” which translates to “I want to beat up all South Koreans! Bunch of mentally handicapped retards!” After the Swiss newspaper Le Matin published images of the offending tweet, the account was deleted.
At the beginning on the ongoing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee encouraged the 10,800 athletes at the London Games to use social media to engage their fans. The IOC also issued guidelines and recommendations for online behavior. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Morganella becomes the second Olympic athlete to be kicked off a team for offensive Twitter comments.
Throughout Sunday’s Switzerland-South Korea match, Morganella received quite a bit of abuse from the crowd. Much of it was instigated when he received an injury via Arsenal forward Park Chu Young, which some believe he may have been faking.
Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said Monday that the mohawked, tattooed soccer star was being stripped of his accreditation because he “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people.” A spokesman for the Swiss Olympic team said that the footballer had accepted the decision and had apologized to South Koreans and their team.