British anti-discrimination group investigates racist comments against Singaporean Sikh referee

Britain's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out is investigating the online racial abuse against Singaporean Sikh referee Sukhbir Singh, the group said in an email response to ChannelNewsAsia (CNA) on Monday, August 1, 2017. 

Singh refereed the International Champions Cup (ICC) match between Chelsea and Inter Milan on July 29. The match ended the Italian side winning 2-1. 

Kick It Out has since "been made aware by members of the public concerned by the comments directed" at the referee, CNA reported. The matter is currently being investigated by its "reporting officer who is liaising with relevant authorities."

Singaporean Sikh referee Sukhbir Singh. Photo courtesy: Facebook
Singaporean Sikh referee Sukhbir Singh. Photo courtesy: Facebook

Singh was criticised by some netizens for awarding Chelsea a controversial penalty at the end of the first half during the match. This was following a challenge by Cesar Azpilicueta on Inter striker Stefan Jovetic. 

In the second half of the match, Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi saw a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, as confirmed by video match replays. 

The 33-year-old FIFA international referee's performance was criticised on Twitter, and some netizens made racist comments on his ethnicity.

Kick It Out added that it could not comment on any potential consequences or repercussions for any parties involved, as the matter is still under investigation. 

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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