Philippines files racism complaint against HK football fans



MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation (PFF)has asked FIFA to investigate allegations that Filipino supporters and players were subject to racist abuse during last week’s friendly in Hong Kong, officials said Thursday.

The Azkals won the match, 1-0, but home fans pelted the players and their supporters, many of them women and children, with water bottles and other debris after the match.

The complaint was filed Tuesday after reports of “physical and racist abuse against Philippine players and supporters,” PFF General Secretary Ed Gastanes said in a statement.

A representative of the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur said Thursday that it had not received any formal complaint and would only be able to investigate or take action if asked to do so by the Philippines or FIFA. The official declined to be identified, citing protocol.

He said he did not have information of any previous racism complaints in Asia. The latest incident comes as FIFA has toughening punishments for racial abuse.

The complaint contains statements from Filipino fans who said they were called “slaves” and that Hong Kong fans threw bottles at them and booed the Philippine national anthem.

The Hong Kong Football Association last week condemned inappropriate behavior and said it was investigating the incidents. Spokesman Benny Chan said that the HKFA has a “zero-tolerance” approach to racism.

A reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer who covered the June 4 match, Cedelf Tupas, said last week that Hong Kong fans were jeering and taunting the Filipinos, including calling their country a “slave nation.”

Tupas said that the hostility intensified after the Philippines scored in the second half. By then, spectators were throwing bottles and juice cartons at the Filipino fans and later the players, Tupas said, adding that others made obscene gestures.

The Filipino fans, who were mostly women and children, made up about 10 percent of the crowd of 4,500.

Some in the southern Chinese city still hold a grudge against the Philippines since a Manila hostage-taking incident in 2010, in which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed in a bungled police rescue. The Hong Kong government has maintained a travel warning for the Philippines since the incident.

Filipinos are also looked down upon in Hong Kong because more than 100,000 of them work as domestic helpers, toiling long hours taking care of children and doing chores for middle-class families for low pay.

 Originally posted at 11:39 am | Thursday, June 13, 2013

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  • Olibo

    In a recent football game in Sydney a 14 year-old girl yelled “You are ape.” to the player who has aboriginal background. The girl was removed from the stadium and detained in a room, she was released after the sports officer realized her age. . In watching football,expect to see people shouting names, mocking the players, that’s football. In that HK soccer game those unruly fans forgot that they were Chinese, the worlds most unwanted nationality, second to terrorist countries, that’s football.

  • johndoe_phil

    Hopefully someday, PH will not send DH to other countries. But when or how? It starts with how we select and who we elect our public officials. No to known corrupt, actors/actress (in ancient egypt they are not allowed to hold any public office simply because they are gifted liars – just a thought), womanizers, gamblers and most of all stupid who do not have any plan or platform and who can not even explain the how and the why of his/her serving-the-people agenda.

  • bright

    Hong Kong people should respect the rights of other people.

  • trader1nb

    HK can’t win by playing so the use insults.

  • takeno12

    Easy to say, but PH should ‘pull out’ of HK now. Unfortunately, the concept of the Filipino as a ‘slave’ is already embedded in HK society and culture. Those ‘racist’ soccer hooligans and HK’s youth, really, are the future leaders of HK and that’s a very alarming thought.

    • Batala

      I agree the only solution is to stop sending workers to countries who hate us.

      Singapore, Hongkong, Taiwan, and China.

      But our water, electricity, and “tong-pats” is very expensive here. We must deal with corruption and over-priced services first.

      • reddfrog

        They hate the PH government, not the PH people. They pity the PH people.

      • zymygy

        Am reading correctly?They hate the PH gov’t. On what grounds.Corruptions,then don’t get involve this is a Filipino fight.You better solved your homegrown anomalies rather interfering in another country.They hate this gov’t then why zero-in the PH people.

      • Batala

        I do not agree.

        If they hate the government then they should have protested in the embassy.

        In Singapore, anti-Filipino sentiment is spearheaded at the grassroots level by ordinary Singaporean citizens.

        In China, small scale businesses even put signs that they do not allow Filipinos.

        In Hongkong, women and children call us “slaves.”

        In Taiwan, they beat our workers with baseball bats. Other foreigners are complaining that Taiwanese citizens keep asking them if they are Filipino – for friendly reasons?. Of course not!

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