Readers in the West may not have heard much about it, but the 17th Asian Games were held between September 19 and October 4 in Incheon, South Korea. As the largest multi-sporting event after the Olympics, the Asian Games bring together athletes from all across the Asian continent only once every four years. By the end of this year’s competition, China had racked up the highest medal count, followed by host South Korea and Japan. However, this year’s Games were also plagued by rampant rumors of suspicious refereeing, fixed matches, and host country favoritism, leaving many nations with a bitter aftertaste upon their conclusion.
In response to the multiple stories of alleged corruption, one irate Thai viewer created a parody video to vent his frustrations. As of this writing, the video, with its scornful lyrics yet surprisingly bubbly nature, has been replayed over 2 million times on YouTube, despite having been published less than a week ago. Judging by the comments, it seems the rest of the world seems to sympathize with its message…
YouTuber Sangabuay’s “Hail to our Host” video parody of the 2014 Asian Games has stirred up quite the talk in the past week.
The video references a whole series of alleged injustices during the recent games, including scenes from various wrestling, boxing, soccer, and badminton matches. The Thai delegation in particular seems to have endured suspicious referee calls in the soccer and boxing competitions. Sangaguay even includes clips in the video from the Italy vs. South Korea match in the 2002 World Cup, during which similar claims of corrupt officiating were made.
Also noteworthy is how the video’s cheerful music contrasts greatly with its scathing lyrics for maximum sarcastic effect. The following is its English YouTube video description:
“Remark: by Tang Tatchaya
Thai football audiences got warned not to shout ‘Kee-Kong’ (cheater) when seeing something suspicious in Thai FA cup (I guess). Hence they made fun of that warning by shouting ‘See-Krong’ (skeletons), which clearly is a pun to the word ‘Kee-Kong’. They also used the word See-Krong in this song just to remind themselves of that incident.
Some may wonder why the song sounds so merry. That’s Thais’ dark humor; aka sarcasms [sic].”
You can watch the full three-minute video below with (slightly shaky) English, Japanese, or Chinese subtitles.
By the way, perhaps the story that has received the most attention coming out of these Games is that of Indian boxer Laishram Sarita Devi, who refused to accept her bronze medal after a controversial semi-final bout in the light-weight category with South Korea’s Park Ji-Na, and was subsequently given a ‘strong warning‘ by the Olympic Council of Asia. According to the Reuters news agency, the same council received letters of complaint from five separate National Olympic Committees about unfair judging during the boxing events.
Laishram Sarita Devi rejecting the bronze medal, and instead placing it around silver medalist Park Ji-Na’s neck:
In addition to that, here are some other videos uploaded by upset Asian Games followers:
The Iran vs. South Korea wrestling match:
Accusations of “mysterious winds”/abnormally high air-conditioning levels in the badminton gymnasium, which supposedly led to the premature exit of Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon (the video is from a Japanese news broadcast):
A 2002 World Cup scandal compilation clip:
The “Hail to our Host” video has also accumulated almost 2,000 comments at the time of this writing in multiple languages. Here’s a sample comment from one Japanese user:
“Brothers and Sisters in Thailand! Please wait for Tokyo Olympic Game and please expect for the fair contents of the game. Please forget the stupid and cheap Incheon Asian Game soon. Thais mind and Japanese mind are the same. from Your Brothers and Sisters in Japan.”
As for now, there’s not much we can do but sit back and wait to see if any official statements are released regarding an official investigation into the complaints of widespread corruption during the Games.