German striker Asamoah warns against racism

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2006, ROSTOCK, GERMANY - Germany striker Gerald Asamoah called for decisive action to be taken against racism in an interview ahead of Germany's match against Georgia in Rostock. The match Saturday is being played in the same stadium where racists slogans were chanted at Ghana-born Asamoah last month. Players from both teams are to unfurl an anti-racist banner after the national anthems are played before the friendly international. Asamoah, who suffered a double fracture of the leg playing for Sc

9 October 2006

ROSTOCK, GERMANY - Germany striker Gerald Asamoah called for decisive action to be taken against racism in an interview ahead of Germany's match against Georgia in Rostock.

The match Saturday is being played in the same stadium where racists slogans were chanted at Ghana-born Asamoah last month.

Players from both teams are to unfurl an anti-racist banner after the national anthems are played before the friendly international.

Asamoah, who suffered a double fracture of the leg playing for Schalke in the UEFA Cup last week, will not be playing in the match.

But in an interview on the German Football Federation (DFB) homepage, 28-year-old Asamoah said it was important that racist incidents were condemned across all sections of society.

Asamoah said fears of racist incidents at the World Cup fortunately proved unfounded during the tournament.

"It's all the more shocking that right-wing radicals attack a German international," he said.

Two other Bundesliga players, the Brazilian Kahe and the Zambian Moses Sichone, were also subject to abuse from the crowd at a recent match between Alemania Aachen and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Racist incidents have also been reported at lower-league games.

The DFB has acted swiftly to clamp down on the problem, imposing fines and threatening clubs with point deductions.

Asamoah welcomed the DFB's stance and said it would help the "civil courage of the many real fans in the stadiums who are not racists." It was important to isolate the small group of rightwing racists who were "shamefully taking advantage of the interest in football."

However Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warns in an interview to appear Saturday against "making the problem bigger than it is."

Rummenigge told the Muenchner Merkur newspaper he did not expect a growing racism problem in football but said was important for the DFB to crack down on "such trends."

Asamoah said he had been hurt to hear monkey noises directed him at the recent cup match in Rostock.

"It is humiliating and makes me sad," he said. "I try to ignore it but you can't. Really I would like to scream out in anger but as an international player I am of course a role model. I can't let myself go, and just have to swallow it."

The great atmosphere and the lack of trouble at the World Cup had shown how the vast majority of people thought, he said.

"Of course, I know that some people abroad think very negatively about Germany and say it is a country of racists. There are people who ask me why I play for Germany at all - for a country which does not accept blacks, so they say.

"But I feel at home here. Germany is a country in which you can feel good as a foreigner. I have been living here a long time and have never felt really uneasy."

After his playing career is over, Asamoah revealed that he might be interested in working in some capacity against racism.

"What I say as a well-known footballer perhaps reaches certain people better. The fight against right-wing radicalism could be a task for the future when I have ended my football career," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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