In a first major controversy to break out before the Tokyo Olympics have begun, a German football team player was allegedly racially abused during a warmup games against Honduras, and the country’s Olympic coach, Stefan Kuntz, asked his team to leave the ground with five minutes remaining in the match.
Both teams were tied 1-1 at the time of the incident, which the Honduras team said was due to a misunderstanding.
The German Football Association (DFB) tweeted after the incident on Saturday evening that, “The game has ended 5 minutes early with the score at 1-1. The Germany players left the pitch after Jordan Torunarigha was racially abused.”
Responding to DFB’s statement, Germay’s Olympic coach Stefan Kuntz tweeted, “When one of our players is racially abused, playing on is not an option.”
The game was being played behind closed doors in Wakayama.
“It was hard to get him (Torunarigha) in; he was terribly upset because he said he was repeatedly racially abused. For us it’s clear, this violates our values, we cannot tolerate it. We’ll take our player completely under our protection. After the situation calmed down a bit, the whole Honduras team came over to us on the bench and apologised. That was the end of the matter for us,” Kuntz was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Germany captain, Maximilian Arnold, said walking out was the right decision.
“We made a correct statement; we made the right decisions and acted correctly. It was also Jordan’s wish. He said that we should leave it at that.”
Germany start their Olympic campaign against Brazil on July 22, while the other teams in Group D are Saudi Arabia and the Ivory Coast.
Honduras are in Group B, alongside New Zealand, South Korea and Romania.