Hertha Berlin's under-16 team stopped playing a game at regional rival Auerbach after its players were allegedly subjected to racist abuse from their opponents on Saturday.
The Bundesliga club says in a statement on its website that "several players from our team were racially abused by their opposing players."
Hertha officials informed the referee of the alleged abuse and decided to stop playing in the 68th minute while leading 2-0 "because we as Hertha BSC condemn racism and discrimination in every form," the club said.
Hertha executive board member Paul Keuter called it “the only correct decision, not to continue with the game.”
On Twitter, the club said: "There are times when football doesn't come first. Racism has no place in our society."
Earlier today, our U16s were forced to abandon a game in Auerbach due to multiple incidences of racism aimed at our players. There are times when football doesn't come first. Racism has no place in our society.#notoracism #hahohe pic.twitter.com/jp46hQOsul
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) December 14, 2019
Hertha under-23 player Jessic Ngankam said he was targeted with monkey chants and called an “ape” by an opposing player during his side's fourth division game against Lokomotive Leipzig on 6 December.
“Insults are unfortunately an everyday occurrence in football, and I can put up with them. But racist abuse is a no-go,” the 19-year-old Ngankam told broadcaster MDR.
Both Hertha and Lokomotive condemned the alleged abuse.
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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2019 10:33:07 IST