African soccer fans mistake Japanese referee as Chinese, smash Chinese-owned stores; Chinese netizens reactions

December 25, 2010Jing Gao7 Comments, , , , , , , , ,

After a DP Congolese soccer club lost in the Club World Cup in Lubumbashi, a city in DP Congo where the club is based, local soccer fans angered by the referee’s decisions took to the streets and smashed and looted businesses run by Chinese, because they mistook the Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura as Chinese.

If you can’t watch the video above, please click here.


Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura

Referee Nishimura of Japan hands out a red card to Sunzu of DR Congo's TP Mazembe during their Club World Cup soccer match against Mexico's Pachuca in Abu Dhabi

According to NetEase, a Chinese news portal, at the final match, Referee Nishimura was clearly partial to Inter Milan. He altogether gave four yellow cards to TP Mazembe and rules that they committed 22 fouls while only blowing the whistle nine times at Inter Milan. Even Mazembe club president Moise Katumbi added to the chorus of infuriated fans by criticizing the referee, “What is making them most to lose this game was the referee,” he said.

According to AFP, soccer fans mistakenly thought Referee Nishimura of Japan as Chinese and chanted during the game “Chinese go home.” Many fans rushed to local cellphone stores run by Chinese right after the game and made smash-and-grab raids, causing huge financial losses to Chinese business owners.

Surprisingly, this time, in additional to Chinese netizens who threw a fit and made ultranationalistic and racist comments, some of them reflected on why Chinese become an easy target of foreigners’ xenophobic attacks.

Selected comments from NetEase.

网易云南省网友 [lee471]:
Chinese have had a terrible reputation!! I have experienced it in Myanmar and Laos. In their eyes Chinese are sheer new-rich, without decorum, and unethical. It’s difficult to be a Chinese. You get bullied at home and despised abroad!!!! If you look around the globe, only Chinese (are like that)!!!
Honestly, I do feel that some Chinese are really ill-cultivated. They speak loud regardless of circumstances, spit and litter everywhere, do not observe order or have social morality. Even the way they look at local women is salacious. They covet little advantages. Now I am in Kenya. I left China a year ago. Now I understand why other people say you don’t know how to love your country unless you go abroad. From the bottom of my heart I look down upon Africans. They are ugly and greedy, corrupt and lazy, and they have no sense of shame. But what we need to ponder over is, why even people of such a low class disdain us and bully us Chinese from a vast country with an ancient civilization? Isn’t it caused by ourselves?
Hehe, sooner or later, Japan belongs to our China.
网易上海市网友 [yubiao1984]:
Even if they had known he was Japanese, they would have also smashed stores of Chinese. The Celestial Court (Jing’s note: the old term for China. Chinese netizens now use it for the central government, often with an touch of discontent or irony.) does not even know how to respect its own subjects. Don’t count on foreigners to respect us.
It shows objectively that because of China’s huge influence, foreigners will first associate Asia, yellow skin and black hair with China instead of Japan or Korea. Hehe, one does not know whether to feel sad or glad about it. I wonder
网易山东省济南市网友 [ji-qing-ren-]:
It’s not that the reputation of Chinese is too bad, but that Chinese are so friendly to foreigners that those hairy barbarians who are yet to fully evolve from animals would easily bully Chinese. If Chinese are tougher and ruder to foreigners, I believe, foreigners who admire the Law of the Jungle would heap praises on us Chinese saying that we are civilized people!
Comments on

Even if he were a Chinese, you Africans forgot that China has helped you? A bunch of disabled black people. He is a Japanese, and it’s best that you smash their stores and even kill them. I don’t object. But China has been of so great help to your Africa, and you jump on the wall? Now we should form an alliance to fight the enemy. Americans, Japanese and Koreans, on seeing them, you should beat them. When it comes to soccer, you are at least two notches below Inter Milan. This is the truth. Swallow it now that you’ve lost. As the first African soccer club to enter the final, you should feel gratified and find your shortcomings faced with a strong team.
I saw the game in 2005 (when he refereed). Oh my god, why is he still refereeing? Wonder how many people he has had brought disaster to in between.
北京市网友 bbing:
No wonder they are always backward. A typical barbarian people.
澳门网友 萧萧秋夏:
A manifestation of nationalism.

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7 comments to “African soccer fans mistake Japanese referee as Chinese, smash Chinese-owned stores; Chinese netizens reactions”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by naveenks. naveenks said: RT amancool5: Pls read comments! “@ministryoftofu African soccer fans mistake Japanese referee as Chinese,smash Chinese-owned stores” [...]

  2. Ann Ominous | December 28, 2010 | Permalink Reply

    Well, it's hilarious to hear some of the racist comments from netizens about Africans. But really, no offense, how many Chinese could tell the difference between a Nigerian and a South African?

    • Jing Gao | December 28, 2010 | Permalink Reply

      I don't think there would be many. Not many Americans can distinguish Japanese, Chinese and Koreans either, but they do not discriminate Asians as a whole, or at least not so much as Chinese discriminate anyone black, including African American :(

    • Ministry of Tofu 豆 | December 29, 2010 | Permalink Reply

      Ignorance is everywhere, and for the Chinese, Africans are still a somewhat novelty. Hope things will get better with more exposure.

  3. [...] of Tofu translates Chinese netizens' reactions over a recent soccer fans riot in Congo. The African soccer fans [...]

  4. Stone | January 3, 2011 | Permalink Reply

    When i was in Canada, i told every chinese around me "if white people blame you for littering or spitting, just tell them 'oh.. sorry abt that.. it's just our habit.. we japanese used to do that a lot.. sorry sorry.. '

  5. JACK | May 19, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    hehe they deserve it

    chinese people are really stinky

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