'Sickening and pathetic' racist abuse of Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi condemned

Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi reacts after scoring a goal that was later disallowed in the Uefa Europa League.
PHOTO: Reuters

Scottish football giants Celtic have condemned the “sickening and pathetic” racist abuse of their Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi after a video of Glasgow Rangers supporters abusing the player.

In a Snapchat video that was later shared on social media sites a number of men travelling on a coach, most of whom are wearing Rangers shirts, sing vile songs about the 26-year-old with at least one filmed making a “slant-eyed” gesture.

One song the men sing includes the lyrics “Furuhashi ate my dog, ate my dog” which Rangers fans also used to sing towards former Celtic player Shunsuke Nakamura, who is also Japanese.

The men, who are reported to have been travelling on a supporters coach to Rangers’ Scottish Premiership away game at Ross County, then sang “Let’s all do Kyogo” with at least one performing the eye gesture often used to abuse East Asians.

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Both clubs weighed in on the vile video in statements on social media.

“If reports are accurate then such sickening and pathetic racist behaviour directed towards Kyogo Furuhashi deserves absolute condemnation,” said Celtic in their statement.

“Unfortunately, a number of Celtic players in recent years have suffered similar racist abuse. As a club open to all, we stand firmly against racism in all its forms and we will give Kyogo our full support. All stakeholders must work together in tackling all forms of bigotry.

“Rangers condemns all forms of racism and discrimination,” they said in a statement.

“Those who indulge in such behaviour are not representative of our club or the loyal support who have stood by us through thick and thin. We are currently investigating to identify the individuals involved.”

[embed]https://twitter.com/Liam_O_Hare/status/1429449608699207693[/embed]

British media reported that Rangers are investigating the video to identify the supporters involved, while several supporters called on Police Scotland to act.

Furuhashi arrived from J. League side Vissel Kobe this summer and has scored six goals in seven games since signing for Celtic. He is also the current J. League top scorer.

The Glasgow rivals meet next weekend in the first Old Firm game of the season when champions Rangers host Celtic at Ibrox.

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.

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