Swiss defender Michel Morganella has been expelled from the London Olympics for directing an allegedly racist insult at South Koreans on Twitter.
Switzerland’s Olympic delegation have sent the 23-year-old home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.
“Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter,” said Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games.
“We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC’s Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic’s own ethics charter.
“This is why, in consultation with the Swiss Football Association, we have withdrawn Morganella’s accreditation.”
The player has accepted the decision and apologised for his behaviour.
He said: “I made a huge mistake after the disappointing result.
“I wish to apologise to the people in South Korea and their team, but also to the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. I obviously accept the consequences for my actions.”
His Twitter account has been deleted.
Gilli said the Swiss committee felt Morganella had been provoked on his Twitter account, but they had no choice but to take strong action.
“Michel indeed does realise that his behaviour was wrong, that he has accepted the decision to be excluded and we hope that he will draw the necessary lessons for his still young football career,” Gilli said.
Morganella plays in Serie A for Palermo, having joined them from Novara this summer.
He only made his Switzerland debut in May.
He has played in both of their Olympics Group B matches so far, picking up a yellow card against South Korea.
The Swiss drew their first game 1-1 with Gabon in Newcastle last Thursday.