Russian Volleyball Coach Does Racist Asian Slanted-Eyes

Story By: William Mcgee, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport

A complaint has been lodged after a Russian volleyball coach celebrated his side’s Olympic qualifying win over South Korea by making a racist “slanted-eye” gesture.

After the Russian women’s volleyball team knocked out their South Korean counterparts in Olympic qualifiers last weekend in the city of Kaliningrad, north-western Russia, one of their coaches celebrated in a highly offensive fashion.

Russian assistant coach Sergio Busato, from Italy, was captured making a “slant-eye” gesture whilst grinning towards the defeated South Korean camp.

Picture Credit: Golders/@danaka_sei

The Korea Volleyball Association said on Wednesday that they will lodge a complaint with the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) and the Russian Volleyball Federation over the racist gesture.

The FIVB, however, is reported not to have any specific penalties for racist behaviour.

Fifty-three-year-old Busato has been working in Russian volleyball since 1999 and was previously involved in the national male team’s gold-medal win at the London 2012 Olympics.

The slant-eye gesture has often reared its head in the world of sport over the years. The entire Spanish basketball team was criticised for making the gesture in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics, while posing for a publicity photo.

Picture Credit: Golders/@Naa_1022

Last year, a pair of US television hosts were suspended for making the gesture live on air following South Korea’s victory over Germany in the football World Cup, while Italian paralympic wheelchair fencer Emanuele Lambertini received criticism for his slant-eye Instagram post made following a competition in Japan.

Busato has faced a new round of criticism after claiming his gesture was intended as a celebration for qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and that he was “surprised” that some took offence.

However, he has also apologised for any offence caused.

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