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17th Jul 2021

Germany Olympics team walk off pitch after alleged racist abuse

Charlie Herbert

They were taking part in a warm-up match against Honduras.

Germany’s men’s Olympic football team left the pitch five minutes before the end of a warm-up match against Honduras after one of their players was allegedly racially abused.

The team were playing their Central American opponents in a shortened match as part of their preparations for the games in Tokyo, starting on July 23.

But with the scores tied at 1-1 the German players left the pitch and the game was finished prematurely.

The team’s official Twitter account claimed that the players decided to leave the pitch with five minutes of the match remaining because Hertha Berlin defender Jordan Torunarigha had been racially insulted.

The German FA has confirmed that the alleged insult was made by one of the Honduras players. There were no spectators at the match which was being played behind closed doors in Wakayama, Japan.

The Honduras national team then confirmed that the game had been abandoned after “an alleged racist insult” directed at a Germany player.

However, they insisted that Germany’s anger came about due to a “misunderstanding on the pitch.”

In a statement, they wrote: “Game ended at 87 [minutes] by abandonment due to the fact that a German player alleged an alleged racist insult on the part of the Honduran national team.

“On the subject, the Seleccion Nacional de Honduras expresses that the situation was the result of a misunderstanding on the pitch.”

Goal report that after the game, coach Stefan Kuntz said: “In terms of the game, it was very high level. In the third period I was wondering what was going on with Jordan. Five minutes before the end of the game there was a scuffle.

“I ran to Jordan because I saw his gestures. He was getting terribly upset. He said that he had been racially insulted for the second time. We decided to leave the pitch because it was against our values.

“The whole Honduras squad came over to the bench and apologised. That ended the issue for us and Jordan.”

“His (Torunarigha’s) team-mates picked him up straight away, gave him a hug for the first few minutes. He was very upset. But you could tell that he was happy to be with us. At the end, we even joked a bit again.

“The team is doing a great job. Of course, it helps when you see your colleagues supporting you. It’s also a strong statement from Jordan to say, ‘That’s enough’.”

The incident comes at the end of a week when racism in football has been thrust back into the public eye once more, after Marcus Rashford, Bukaya Saka and Jadon Sancho all received racist abuse following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy last week.