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School football incident sparks Hong Kong race rowAFP News16 March 2012A violent incident in a school football match in Hong Kong has sparked an ugly race row after a video was posted online showing a Caucasian boy kicking a Chinese opponent in the head.Parents of the Asian boy filed a police complaint after the weekend’s under-12 game between ESF Lions and Kitchee Escola descended into chaos, with fathers and the ESF coach engaged in an angry on-field altercation.A video of the match showing the 10-year-old ESF player making contact with the Kitchee boy’s head has been viewed more than 50,000 times and generated a torrent of often racist commentary against “gweilos”, or Caucasians.“These are English Men... Shame of mankind!” wrote one viewer on the YouTube website.Others called the coach and mainly Caucasian players for the English Schools Foundation (ESF) team “animals” and “white scum”, and demanded the government stop subsidising the English-language school system.“The Hong Kong government should cancel its funding of the ESF. Gweilos should leave Hong Kong immediately,” said one user.“Gweilo” means “ghost man” in Cantonese and is often used as derogatory slang to describe people of European decent.Other commentators however said the incident was bad enough without the racist abuse on the Internet.“I am not sure what is worse, the coach, the young thug, the refs or the tirade of racist comments in this thread,” wrote another viewer.But some other commentators said the ESF boy may have misjudged his kick and not meant to hurt his opponent.An ESF-affiliated company that organised the match asked a lawyer to contact the suspected uploader of the video, one of the Kitchee boys’ parents, to ask them to take down the YouTube video.“I understand that the parent of the injured child has referred the matter to the police and we will cooperate fully with any police investigation,” ESF chief executive Heather Du Quesnay said in a letter to parents Thursday.She expressed concern for the injury to the Kitchee child but said the video clips should be “closed down because of the distress that the offensive comments were causing to the ESF Lions player and his family”.“Appropriate action will be taken to deal with this incident, but, as we do that, we have also to ensure that criticism of a 10-year-old who made a serious mistake does not get out of hand,” she wrote.Kitchee Sports Club chief executive Ken Ng said police had made inquiries about the incident and taken a copy of the video.He downplayed the seriousness of the racism expressed in some of the comments on YouTube.“Don’t read too much into it. It is one boy kicking another boy,” he said.The clip was still viewable on Thursday at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfxZL-Dl8Wc
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