Germany to act on racial abuse

The 29-year-old, who was recently recalled into Chipolopolo side after a three-year absence, to face South Africa, was taunted along with Brazilian striker Kahe during the Bundesliga match between Alemannia Aachen and Borussia Moenchengladbach recently. Coach Patrick Phiri has recalled the Germany-based player together with goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje, who was left out of the national team for the Nations Cup in Egypt in January.

“During Saturday’s match in Aachen, a fan in the Aachen fan area first directed racist abuse at Moenchengladbach’s Brazilian striker Kahe,” the DFB said in a statement on Monday, “then the Moenchengladbach supporters directed racist remarks at Aachen’s Zambian player Moses Sichone.”

Referee Michael Weiner had an announcement broadcast in the stadium at half-time threatening to halt the game if the Aachen fans did not stop chanting “Asylant”, German for asylum seeker, at Kahe.

The DFB report says Weiner had prepared a report on the incidents for a special investigating committee and both clubs had been asked to make immediate statements.

It is the second racist incident in two weeks, after DFB last week fined Hansa Rostock’s regional league side US$25,000 for their fans’ racists chants at Schalke 04’s Ghana-born striker Gerald Asamoah in a German Cup match.

German media reports that Moenchengladbach spokesman Markus Aretz had called for a Press conference where he said his club already had an active campaign against racism in soccer and this would be intensified in light of Saturday’s incidents.

“This is something that does not belong in a football stadium,” he said, “We are surprised that our fans were involved in something like that because we have not had any problems of that kind before.”

Moenchengladbach now face a US$28,000 penalty, while Alemannia Aachen could be fined US$100,000 fine for starting the abuse on Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Kahe.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger said it was vital to crack down on racism in the country’s game after such incidents.

“Either we tackle the issue head-on or not. It is a minority of people who are bringing the game down,” Zwanziger said.

“Racism is a poison and we need to distance ourselves from it.

“We cannot give these people a platform. I know the true fans love their players whatever their skin colour or nationality.”

October 2006
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