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German Third Division Match Abandoned After Visiting Player Is Racially Abused

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German Third Division Match Abandoned After Visiting Player Is Racially Abused

For the first time ever, a professional football match in Germany has been abandoned because of a racist incident.

Osnabruck’s trip to Duisburg in the German third tier was called off on Sunday after a fan racially abused visiting player Aaron Opoku.

The match was stopped by referee Nicolas Winter in the 35th minute after a racist remark was heard from the stands.

Both sets of players left the pitch, with large sections of the crowd at the MSV-Arena chanting “Nazi’s out!” in solidarity with Opoku.

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After a 15-minute period, the match was officially abandoned.

“The game is over after VfL Osnabruck is no longer able to compete,” Duisburg tweeted.

“We fully understand this. A bitter afternoon for football.”

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Osnabruck’s account also tweeted: “The game has been stopped. Opoku was racially insulted. Incomprehensible. Aaron, we stand behind you!”

Opoku himself later commented on the incident, saying: “Not continuing the game was an important sign for everyone who has been discriminated against."

Both sets of players walked off the pitch after the incident (Image credit: Alamy)
Both sets of players walked off the pitch after the incident (Image credit: Alamy)

Osnabruck chief executive Michael Welling later confirmed the team had decided not to carry on the match in a show of support for Opoku.

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“Aaron wasn’t in a position to continue playing after the incident. He couldn’t carry on, nor would he have wanted to,” said Welling.

“The team recognised that an expressed their solidarity.”

Welling added: “We don’t just want to print anti-racism on t-shirts or just band around slogans.

It is the first time that a professional match in Germany has been abandoned because of racism (Image credit: Alamy)
It is the first time that a professional match in Germany has been abandoned because of racism (Image credit: Alamy)
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“If you really take this seriously, then you have to act accordingly.”

The fan responsible for the abuse was identified by supporters sitting close to him in the stadium and was subsequently handed to the police.

Duisburg club president Ingo Wald said the home support were right to identify the offender.

“It is always a minority, but this minority could destroy football,” Wald told MagentaSport.

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“Every fan should make sure that this does not happen.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Bundesliga, Racism, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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