Singaporean Sikh referee subjected to racial abuse by netizens

The probe was launched by the UK-based organisation 'Kick It Out' after Sukhbir Singh had made some controversial decisions while officiating ICC match.

Published: 03rd August 2017 12:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2017 12:39 PM   |  A+A-


SINGAPORE: A 33-year-old Singaporean Sikh referee was allegedly subjected to racial abuse on social media after a football match here, prompting an anti-discrimination organisation to launch an investigation.

The probe was launched by UK-based organisation 'Kick It Out' after Sukhbir Singh had made some controversial decisions while officiating last Saturday's International Champions Cup (ICC) match at the National Stadium in Singapore, where Inter Milan beat Chelsea by 2-1, The Strait Times reported.

Some netizens took to Twitter to criticise Singh's decisions and commented on his ethnicity.

The first was his awarding of a penalty to Inter after striker Stevan Jovetic was brought down by Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, and the second was disallowing a late equaliser by Blues forward Michy Batshuayi.

Fifa match agent Baljit Rihal tagged Kick It Out who said that it had "received reports from the public on the racist abuse on social media aimed towards Singaporean Sikh referee during Chelsea's friendly against Inter Milan.

'Kick It Out' is a third-party reporting organisation where "incidents of discrimination in English football can be reported and then passed to the relevant authorities".

"As these incidents have taken place on social media, they have been reported to the social media platform (Twitter in this case) to take action," the organisation said.

The Football Association of Singapore, as well as Singh, did not comment on this matter, the newspaper said.

Last year, 'Kick It Out' had launched a campaign to raise awareness about social media discrimination to coincide with the European Championships.

The organisation's vision is that football will be a sport where people flourish in a supportive community, and where fairness is openly and transparently practised and enforced for the good of all participants.

Singh was also last year's S-League Referee of the Year.

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