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More problems for the London Olympics

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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More problems for the London Olympics | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Swiss Olympian kicked off team after racist tweet
Phuket Gazette / News Wires
PHUKET: A Swiss football star was kicked off the men’s Olympic team Monday after sending out a tweet deemed to be racist, sports officials said. It comes just days after a Greek triple jumper was excluded from the Olympics after she issued a tweet which was also deemed to be racist.

Michel Morganella, a footballer who was included on the Swiss Olympic team as a defender, made comments on his Twitter account which were considered to be discriminatory against South Koreans. The tweet, which was in French, told Koreans to “burn themselves” and called them a “bunch of tards”. He has since deleted his account.

In response to the offensive tweet, the Swiss Olympic Association decided, in consultation with the Swiss Football Association, to exclude Morganella from the Swiss delegation.

“Michel Morganella has made extremely offensive remarks on his Twitter channel, with the South Korean population and the South Korean football team most deeply offended and discriminated against,” the Swiss Olympic Association said in a statement late Monday evening. “We condemn these statements, which grossly contradict the Olympic Charter, the IOC and the Ethics Charter of the Swiss Olympic Association.”

In response to the decision, Morganella, who plays for the Swiss team, released a statement of his own, saying, “After the disappointing result and the responses from Korea, I’ve made a big mistake. I’m truly sorry for the people of South Korea, for the footballers, but also for the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. Of course, I bear the consequences.”

Any further penalties against him will be decided later.

Just days earlier, on Wednesday last week, which was two days before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was excluded from the Olympics as well after she tweeted: “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will be eating food from their own home.”

In response to that tweet, The Democratic Left, a political party in Greece, said: “Racist humor and ‘jokes’ concerning human lives are not tolerated by the Greek society, can not thrive in Greek athletics. The least the Greek Olympic Committee can do now is to remove Ms Voula Papachristou from the Olympic Games. Watching the Olympics on TV screen, she could do as many vile ‘jokes’ as she wants through the social media. But for sure, she can not represent Greece in London.”

Papachristou later apologized in a statement on her Twitter account. “I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account,” she said. “I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach on human rights.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

Muay Thai added to European Games 2023

Caitlin Ashworth

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Muay Thai added to European Games 2023 | The Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia

Thailand’s national sport Muay Thai has been added to the European Games 2023, set to be held in Poland. While Asia has been leading the sport for decades, many recent Muay Thai champions are from Europe, according to Sakchye Tapsuwan, president of the International Federation of Muaythai Associations, the governing body for the sport.

“Europe has grown in strength, evidenced at the last two World Championships, where the overall winners were teams from Europe.”

Held by the European Olympic Commission, the European Games is considered a staging post to the Olympics. Thousands of elite athletes from 50 participating nations have the opportunity to compete in one of the 15 sports. Now Muay Thai, an ancient martial art dating back 1,000 years with ties to centuries-old traditions, is included on the list.

The format of the European Games is in line with the Olympic Movement standards for gender equality. The categories are equal for men and women with 7 male and female divisions and 2 coed teams. Creating equal opportunities for men and women fighters is a “vision” both the federation and the European Olympic Committee share, according to director of the federation, Charissa Tynan.

“For IFMA, gender equality is not about ticking the box, it is about ensuring that women and men have the same opportunities to shine together on one stage as one family.”

SOURCES: IFMA | EOC

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress” | The Thaiger

After complaints that China’s anal swab Covid-19 test caused “psychological distress,” Japan has asked China to stop using the new, much more invasive method of testing on Japanese citizens entering the country.

For the anal test, reportedly done on some travellers entering China from overseas, a 3 to 5 centimetre long cotton swab is inserted into the anus and gently rotated to collect the sample. While it’s unclear exactly how many people have gone through the procedure, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato says some Japanese citizens have reported mental discomfort after the test.

“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused great psychological pain.”

The Japanese government made a request through the embassy in Beijing to stop using the anal swab test on Japanese citizens. Katsunobu says China has not yet responded to the request.

China started using the anal swab test in January. The anal tests are controversial with many experts backing the oral test as the most efficient way to detect a coronavirus infection.

SOURCE: BBC

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Survey shows growing acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines in some countries

Maya Taylor

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Survey shows growing acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines in some countries | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pixabay

A survey of 6 countries shows that the number of people willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 is on the rise. The poll, conducted by the international consultancy KekstCNC, indicates that the number of people willing to be vaccinated has risen since last year. The countries that took part were the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Sweden, with all reporting a similar trend.

The highest percentage in favour of vaccination was in the UK, where mass vaccination is well underway. 89% of those surveyed say they’re in favour of being vaccinated, an increase on December’s figure of 70%.

Sweden’s percentage of those in favour of vaccination rose to 76%, from 53% in December. In the US, it was 64%, up from December’s 58%, in Germany, 73% favour vaccination, up from 63%, and in Japan, the percentage is 64%, up from 50% in December.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the numbers were lowest in vaccine-sceptical France, with 59% in favour of the vaccine. However, this is a significant rise from December’s 40%.

In some countries, people were critical of the vaccine rollout, but 76% of people in the UK feel the government has done well. In the US, only 32% are happy with the vaccine rollout, in Germany and Japan it’s 28%, 22% in France and just 20% in Sweden. Both the UK and Israel are seen as having the most success with the rollout of their vaccine programmes.

Covid-19 has now killed 2,543,285 people and infected 114,686,933 around the world since the start of the pandemic in December 2019. The US has recorded the highest number of deaths, at 525,776.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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