German FA probes Balogun, Ujah racial attack

Posted on Jan 17 2018 - 9:07am by admin

Festus Abu

The German Football Association has launched an investigation into Nigerian-born Mainz 05 players Leon Balogun and Anthony Ujah’s  complaint that they were  racially abused  by Hannover 96 fans during their Bundesliga fixture at the HDI-Arena in Hannover  on Saturday.

Hannover won the encounter  3-2 to  pile  more misery  on Mainz, who are  battling to steer clear of the relegation battle.

Super Eagles defender   Balogun alleged that  they were subjected to racial abuse, including monkey sounds  by the fans while warming up.

“Ujah and I were racially insulted with ape noises among other things as we warmed up in front of the Hannover fans block. I’m shocked that such behaviour exists in 2018 in the Bundesliga, where players of differing backgrounds, skin colours and religions fight daily for their fans,”  the 29-year-old, who was born to a Nigerian father and German mother,  wrote on his Twitter account.

And Mainz, who condemned  the development, protested against  the incident   after the game.

Reports in the German media on Tuesday said the German FA had begun proceedings, saying Hannover could face a fine or even a stadium closure.

According to ESPN,  the football body  has asked Hannover, Balogun and Ujah  to provide written statements.

“We are dismayed,” Hannover sporting director Horst Heldt  was quoted by ESPN as saying  on Tuesday. “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated, not in a stadium and not elsewhere.”

But Balogun, who helped Nigeria qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup, called for the fans involved in the racial abuse to be banned.

“These people must receive stadium ban, and as fast as possible,”   he was quoted by Rheinische Post as saying on Tuesday.

“I do not want to have conditions like Italy or England here in a couple of years, that will be the standard and will be dealt with any fines.”

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