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UK: Second Olympian banned for offensive tweet

31-07-2012

Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella has been booted off his team for an offensive tweet he posted after Switzerland's group stage defeat against South Korea.

Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said on Monday that Morganella will be stripped of his accreditation two days ahead of the team's final group match with Mexico.

At a press conference on Monday, Gilli said Morganella had "discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people."

On Sunday, Switzerland lost to South Korea 2-1. After the match, he said he'd "batter the Koreans, burn them all" and referred to them using an insulting French word for people with Down's Syndrome.

His Twitter account, @morgastoss, has been shut down, a spokeswoman for the team said. She also said Morganella had apologized. The Swiss 23-year-old right back plays his club football with Palermo in Italy.

Morganella is the second person to be banned from the Olympics because of a tweet. Two days before the opening ceremony, Greek triple-jumper Paraskevi Papachristou was expelled from Greece's team for tweeting "statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement," as the Hellenic Olympic Committee put it.

Papachristou had already drawn attention with links to videos and websites of the extreme-right Golden Dawn political party. But it was a tweet she posted the week of the opening ceremony that outraged the committee.

Commenting on recent cases of mosquitoes carrying the Nile virus appearing in Athens, she tweeted "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!"

Isidoros Kouvelos, the head of the committee, appeared on the TV station Skai and said, "We are not here just to get medals, but to promote the Olympic ideals, to show our character."

Papachristou also issued apologies.

mz/msh (Reuters, AP)

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16132566,00.html

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