Indonesian badminton coach sorry for using 'racial slurs' for Malaysia pair
French Open: Indonesia's badminton coach Eng Hian was heard referring to the Malaysian women's doubles pair as 'black' and 'white'.
Malaysia's women's doubles pair of Pearly Tan and Muralitharan Thinaah won their first Super 750 title by winning the French Open final on Sunday, but have made international headlines for completely other reasons.
Indonesia's badminton coach Eng Hian landed in hot water when he was heard using racial slurs for the Malaysian duo during a drinks break on Thursday. He called them "putih" (white) and "hitam" (black) while giving instructions to his players during the Malaysian pair's 21-16, 21-14 win over Indonesia in the Round of 16 stage.
Thinaah has Indian heritage but has been born and brought up in Malaysia.
The comments were heard on live television and soon caused an uproar on social media.
Taking to Instagram on Saturday, the under-fire Indonesian coach issued an apology for his comments, saying that he had no intention of offending or insulting the two women.
"With total humility, I apologise to Malaysians Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, once again from the very depths of my heart, I am sorry for what I said," he said.
Pearly and Thinaah are only the second Malaysian women's duo to reach the French Open final since the tournament's inception.
They beat Japan's Matsumoto and Nagahara 21-19, 18-21, 21-15 in the women's doubles final on Sunday.