Friday, January 28, 2011

Celtic star in Racist Storm
IT LOOKED like yet another bizarre ritual performed by a footballer. But the moment Celtic star Ki Sung-Yeung made a "monkey face" gesture to Japanese fans after scoring a goal in the 2011 Asia Cup semi-final they were after the young South Korean's blood.

Rather than face the music for impersonating a slack-jawed monkey scratching its face - interpreted in both Japan and Korea as mockery of the Japanese - Ki decided the best form of defence was attack and blamed the racist abuse he suffered at the hands of football fans in Scotland for his action.

He said: "That performance was not directed at Japanese people. When I play at Celtic, our opponents' fans call me a monkey and the celebration was towards people who make such racist remarks."

The incident comes two months after the SPL launched an investigation into the behaviour of a group of St Johnstone fans, who barked at him and sang: "Who ate all the dogs?"

The Perth fans' taunts, on 30 October at a game at St Johnstone's McDiarmid Park, which Celtic won 3-1, were understood to be a reference to the use of dogs in some Korean cuisine.

Last night, Ged Grebby, chief executive of campaign group Show Racism the Red Card, said Ki had been guilty of racism in making the gesture to Japanese fans - and they accused Ki of attacking Scottish fans to deflect criticism from his own actions.

Mr Grebby said: "We'd take any incident of racism in Scotland seriously. But I find it strange that Ki links his action to racism in Scotland and see this as him trying to deflect criticism. He is a player who should know better and who has made an error."

But Tommy Dornan, president of Greenock Celtic supporters' club, defended the player's claims last night, saying racism continued to be a problem in Scotland.

He said: "It's a sad thing that in this day and age that racism rears its ugly head in football. But I find it astounding that Show Racism the Red Card has got involved when they chose not to when Celtic fans were insulted by the singing of the 'Famine song' and also by the fact they did little when Japanese Celtic player Shunsuke Nakamura was getting racist abuse"


Other racist articles of interest;
Celtic fans confess to racist abuse

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