All fingers and thumbs

Despicable foreigners (again)

Is the SCMP really so short of letters to publish that it can always find room for the incoherent ranting of Pierce Lam?

This time he seems determined to make a more general point about a single incident in an under 12 football match.  You won’t be surprised to hear that the player who committed the foul was Caucasian and playing for an ESF team. 

Probe kick incident thoroughly

South China Morning Post - Mar 31, 2012

Your editorial ("Adults must set sporting example", March 21) prevaricates and is clearly partial.

To provide a context for the attack [at a schoolboy soccer game], it referred to circumstances not captured in the video, by referring to emotions that swelled on the losing side - the players, their parents and the coach who were losing hope over the game.

Overenthusiastic parents and coaches are not uncommon in all kinds of junior competitions that take place all over the world every day.

The main issue that your editorial sidestepped is why such a common experience of immense pressure to win resulted in such unusual violence in Hong Kong.  The comment about "parents rushing onto the pitch and getting into a shoving match with the coach" after the assault is misleading and irrelevant.

Why is it misleading and irrelevant?

It was imperative, and not just sensible, that concerned parents intervene in an unfair game that had turned violent, especially as neither the referees nor the losing team's coach commanded confidence. All along, Kitchee Escola played a graceful and very respectable game.

Was Pierce Lam there at the game?  Or has he just watched a video on You Tube that has been edited to highlight the fouls committed by the ESF team?

The culpable English Schools Foundation Lions boy was a scapegoat if, as your editorial alleged, he "paid the penalty", although he "would not have harmed a fellow player and gained notoriety had those around him set the right example". Who are these real but unpunished hidden culprits?

Surely the SCMP meant the parents at the game.

Ben Lam Chan-bun, a spokesman for the league to which the two teams belonged, tried to wrap up the horrific incident, saying that Kitchee "only wanted an apology" and that "we don't want to cause any trouble with the ESF; we know they are good schools" ("Shock at head-kicking in boys' soccer match", March 13). This is a grossly myopic and irresponsible attitude.

The parents and members of the winning team demonstrated remarkable self-restraint, and we must ensure that we will see justice fairly administered in the head-kicking case.

The kicking incident was not a private issue between two boys or two teams.

Really? Oh yes, because Pierce Lam hates the English Schools Foundation (ESF) and wants it closed down.

Both Hong Kong and the world at large are concerned about the question posted in the headline of Jamie Spence's letter ("What is root of violence in junior sport?" March 16).

I don't think a similar kicking incident would happen in Singapore, Tokyo or Shanghai, so why Hong Kong? To prevent a similar incident from happening here in the future, the concerned parties must investigate the case thoroughly and report their findings to the public.

Pierce Lam, Central

Does Mr Lam have any evidence to support his assertion that this would not happen in Singapore, Tokyo or Shanghai?  I don’t think so.   


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