Bundesliga: Hertha Berlin condemn apparent racist abuse of under-23 player Jessic Ngankam by Lokomotiv Leipzig fans

Hertha executive board member Paul Keuter says the club should have reacted sooner to the alleged abuse

The Associated Press December 10, 2019 21:03:04 IST
Bundesliga: Hertha Berlin condemn apparent racist abuse of under-23 player Jessic Ngankam by Lokomotiv Leipzig fans
  • Hertha Berlin have condemned apparent racist abuse of their under-23 player Jessic Ngankam from Lokomotiv Leipzig fans during their fourth-division game on Friday

  • Hertha executive board member Paul Keuter says the club should have reacted sooner to the alleged abuse

  • The 19-year-old Ngankam, who is black, told broadcaster MDR that he was targeted with monkey chants by some fans in the visiting supporters block

Berlin: Hertha Berlin have condemned apparent racist abuse of their under-23 player Jessic Ngankam from Lokomotiv Leipzig fans during their fourth-division game on Friday.

Hertha says on Twitter that, “Ngankam was subjected to racist hostility during the game against Lok Leipzig. As a club, we are completely behind Jessic … The incident was also noted in the match report and a preliminary investigation has since been launched by the league. Lok Leipzig have already given their own statement on the incident. #notoracism”

Hertha executive board member Paul Keuter says the club should have reacted sooner to the alleged abuse, “but nobody should doubt our commitment against racism.”

Hertha player Jordan Torunarigha wrote on Twitter the club is “100% against racism and one shouldn’t argue over why my club is just giving a statement now.”

The 19-year-old Ngankam, who is black, told broadcaster MDR that he was targeted with monkey chants by some fans in the visiting supporters’ block and that he was called an “ape” by an opposing player.

“Of course you’re trained not to react or show emotion. But it still hits you,” Ngankam told MDR. “Insults are unfortunately an everyday occurrence in football, and I can put up with them. But racist abuse is a no-go.”

Lokomotive criticized the abuse on its website, where it reminded its own fans that it has players within the club with roots in 32 countries.

“Only two colors interest us – (club colors) blue and yellow,” Lokomotive said. “Racism has no place among us and everyone knows that! If there are still people who call themselves blue-yellow fans and can’t comprehend that, then it must be clear that (Leipzig district) Probstheida is no place for them.”

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