The German men’s Olympic soccer team’s friendly match against Honduras came to an abrupt end on Saturday when the players left the field after alleged racist abuse directed at Jordan Torunarigha.
Stefan Kuntz’s side took on the Central American nation in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, which begin next week.
The teams drew 1-1, with Germany tying thanks to a goal from Felix Uduokhai, before the alleged incident occurred.
What has happened?
The players left the field with five minutes to go.
The Twitter account of the German Olympic Games soccer team claimed that the players decided to leave because defender Torunarigha had been racially insulted.
“The game had to stop five minutes before the end when the score was 1-1. After our player Jordan Torunarigha was racially insulted, the German team left the field together,” the short update reads.
No spectators saw the match, which was a closed-door game played in Wakayama, Japan.
What has been said?
Speaking after the game, Kuntz commented: “In terms of the game, it was a very high level. In the third period I was wondering what was going on with Jordan. Five minutes before the end of the game there was a fight.
“I ran to Jordan because I saw his gestures. He was getting terribly angry. He said he had been racially insulted for the second time. We decided to leave the field because it was against our values.”
“The entire Honduran squad came up to the bench and apologized. That ended the problem for us and Jordan.”
“His teammates (from Torunarigha) immediately picked him up, hugged him for the first few minutes. He was very upset. But you could tell he was happy to be with us. In the end, we even joked around a bit more.
“The team is doing a great job. Of course, it helps when you see your colleagues supporting you. It’s also a strong statement from Jordan to say, ‘Enough is enough.’
Honduras issued a statement through social media, insisting that the incident was a “misunderstanding.”
The match ended at 87 (minutes) by abandonment due to a German player denouncing an alleged racist insult by the Honduran national team.
“On the subject, the National Team of Honduras expresses that the situation was the result of a misunderstanding on the field.”
Torunarigha has suffered racist abuse before
Torunarigha has suffered racist abuse in the past.
In February last year, the Hertha Berlin defender was attacked by Schalke fans during a DFB-Pokal match, and the Bundesliga team was subsequently fined € 50,000 for the DFB incident.
Other recent cases of racism in football
Racism in soccer has been a prominent issue this summer.
Three England Players – Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka – they were all victims of racist abuse on social media after missing penalties in the Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.
Each player published a statement on social media during the week in which they spoke out against discrimination.
“There is no place for racism or hatred of any kind in football or in any area of society and for the majority of people to come together to call the people who send these messages, take action and report these comments to the police and by expelling hatred by being kind to each other, we will win. ” Saka wrote.
Like Saka, Rashford admitted that expect to receive racist messages and comments after his miss, saying: “I have become a sport in which I hope to read things written about me.
“Whether it’s because of the color of my skin, where I grew up or, more recently, how I decide to spend my time off the court, I can criticize my performance throughout the day, my penalty wasn’t good enough, I should have.” I walked in, but I will never apologize for who I am and where I come from. “
Racism on social media has been a recurring problem for the past year, and many players highlighted the abuse they have received, leading to English football to boycott Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in an attempt to force them to address the problem.