Three Germany fans filmed shouting racist abuse at Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan turn themselves in

Leory Sane during Germany's 1-1 draw with Serbia. (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2019

Three Germany fans filmed shouting racist abuse at Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan turn themselves in

  • Alleged abuse took place during Germany’s 1-1 draw with Serbia in Wolfsburg on Wednesday
  • Men accused of chanting “Heil Hitler” and shouted “we need another small Austrian.”

WOLFSBURG:Three men who shouted racist abuse at Germany’s Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan during the friendly with Serbia turned themselves in after another fan posted a video on Facebook, police said Friday.

After the images, taken during Germany’s 1-1 draw with Serbia in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, appeared online, “they presented themselves and confessed they were the three alleged perpetrators,” confirmed local police spokesman Thomas Figge.

“They gave a preliminary statement presenting their version of events.”

Another supporter, identified by German tabloid Bild as Andre Voigt, a journalist who had gone to the match as a fan, filmed the trio insulting Manchester City players Sane, whose father is from Senegal, and Gundogan, the son of Turkish immigrants.

The German Football Association on Friday condemned the verbal attacks in the “strongest terms” and said it would ban from matches any perpetrators confirmed to have made the chants.

Voigt said the men had chanted “Heil Hitler” and shouted “we need another small Austrian.”

“Every time Sane touched the ball, they insulted his color. Gundogan was insulted as a Turk. They spoke in pseudo-Turkish accents every time he had the ball. And then they’d start again with ‘black, black, black!’“

The men are aged between 30 and 40, said Figge.

“The police will continue their investigation into incitement to hate and send the file to the prosecutor’s office early next week,” said the police spokesman.

Gundogan, along with Mesut Ozil, was the center of controversy before the World Cup for posing for a photo alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Midfielder Leon Goretzka said those responsible for the chants must be dealt with accordingly.

“The video shocked me and decisive action has to be taken against it,” said the 24-year-old Bayern Munich player.

“We stand for diversity, integration should be a matter of course, I can only call on everyone to act with a lot of courage and put people like that in their place.”


Italy’s Serie A to resume on June 20

Updated 14 min 14 sec ago

Italy’s Serie A to resume on June 20

  • ‘Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same’

ROME: Italy’s Serie A was given the green light on Thursday to resume on June 20 after a three-month absence as one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic begins to ease restrictions.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said that the government’s Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) had agreed to the health protocol proposed by Italian football chiefs.
“Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same,” said Spadafora.
“The federation assured me that it had a Plan B and a Plan C.
“In light of these considerations, the championship can resume on June 20.”
Italian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina told the minister during the video conference that a play-off system would be used if the championship were again interrupted, while the existing standings would be used if it were stopped.
“We had a very useful meeting,” said Spadafora. “From the start, I said that football could restart once all the security conditions had been met.”
No top-flight matches in Italy have been played since Sassuolo beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9.
One of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with over 33,000 deaths, Italian football now faces a scheduling nightmare, for matches which will take place behind closed doors.
Lega Serie A will meet on Friday morning to examine “the different calendar hypotheses” for the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches, amounting to 127 in total.
Most teams have 12 league games left to play, but there were four postponed fixtures.
Spadafora suggested that the Italian Cup could be concluded the week before the return to Serie A action.
The semifinal return leg matches between Inter Milan and Napoli and AC Milan and Juventus, could be played on June 13-14 with the final on June 17.
“I also hope to be able to send a positive signal to the whole country by taking advantage of the week from June 13 to 20 to conclude the Italian Cup,” he added.
The announcement of the resumption of the Italian league comes just after the English Premier League confirmed it will restart on June 17.
The German championship has already resumed and Spain’s La Liga will return to the pitch the week of June 8.
Among the five major European championships, only the French Ligue 1 has been definitively stopped.
“I’m happy and satisfied,” said Gravina. “The restart of football represents a message of hope for the whole country.”
But many issues remain to be resolved including match schedules, players’ contracts which end on June 30, and unpaid TV rights by broadcasters.
“Footballers are not robots, there are concerns,” said Damiano Tommasi, president of the players’ union.
“A critical issue is (playing a) match at 4.30pm which in June and July in Italy is unthinkable,” added the former Italy and Roma player.
The thorniest issue remains the two-week quarantine period in the case of a positive test, which Spadafora insisted would remain.
“The CTS agreed with the medical protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period if a player were to test positive,” said Spadafora, who did not exclude future changes to the rule.
“I’m ready to bet on the resumption of the championship, but with this rule of quarantine of 14 days, the possibilities of concluding it are not high,” said Enrico Castellacci, president of the Italian Football Doctors Association.
“It’s a crime. I’m not going to quarantine 50 healthy people. We don’t do this if there is a positive case in a factory,” argued Lazio doctor Ivo Pulcini, with the Roman club committed to a resumption of the season, as they sit just one point behind leaders Juventus.