racism in soccer, racially charged comments
Soccer player Titus Bonai holds a sign to reject racism with fellow player Abdul Rahman in 2019.

Kick racism: Papuan soccer player receives supports after racially charged comments on his IG


West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi


Jayapura, Jubi – A soccer player with PSM Makassar, a football club in South Sulawesi, Patrich Wanggai, received a deluge of supports on his Instagram account @wanggaipatrich after he received racially charged attacks by some Instagram users.


The supportive comments now had drowned the racially charged comments on his Instagram, where supporters condemned the racially charged commenters. Very few racially charged comments appeared at the top, among the nearly 14,000 comments, and they mocked Wanggai’s physical features including his skin color.



Some who showed their support for Wanggai and condemned racism said they came to Wanggai’s account after hearing what happened to him but now they could not find the racially charged comments.


One user comment said: “I came here because I heard that a lot of people attacked you. But when I arrived here, it seemed the supportive comments had drowned the racially charged ones. I don’t follow soccer but I just wanted to say, keep your spirit up Pace. I apologize on behalf of those who commented without considering ethics. But many are proud of you.”



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pace Nabire 😎 (@wanggaipatrich)

Pace referred to a friendly address for adult male in Papua, and Wanggai called himself Pace Nabire on his Instagram account. Nabire refers to his hometown in Papua province.


His club, PSM Makassar played against Jakarta’s club, Persija, on Monday, March 22, 2021 in Menpora Cup 2021, a competition organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. PSM Makassar scored 2 against nil by Persija. The first goal was made by Wanggai, with the assist from another Papuan player in PSM Makassar, Yakub Sayuri. Sayuri made the second goal for Makassar.


The match was held a day after the competition was opened on March 21. The competition was first to be held after the pandemic halted all soccer competitions.


PSM Makassar sent a complaint report to the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) about the incident.


“Our happiness that Indonesian soccer has risen again after a year of hiatus is supposed to be the joy of all soccer fans too. But it has been dampened and marred by the actions of a handful of people who attacked (Wanggai). Our player, Patrich Wanggai received rude, mocking and racially charged comments (on his Instagram),” PSM Makassar CEO Munafri Arifuddin said in the letter.


“We regret the racially charged comments and we would like to emphasize that we stand with Patrich Wanggai, with the same spirit and we want to reject any kinds of racism in Indonesian soccer, which we all love,” Munafri said.


The manager of Jayapura football club Persipura, Arvydays Ridwan Madubun, said he condemned the racially charged comments against Wanggai. He said he was disappointed that racism happened again in the soccer world.


Reporter: Sudjarwo

Editor: Jean Bisay

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