Nigerian footballer cleared after Hitler salute
29 March 2006, LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Prosecutors investigating a case against a Nigerian footballer for giving a Nazi salute after a German fourth division game decided on Tuesday not to prosecute Adebowale Ogungbure.
29 March 2006
LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Prosecutors investigating a case against a Nigerian footballer for giving a Nazi salute after a German fourth division game decided on Tuesday not to prosecute Adebowale Ogungbure.
The Sachsen Leipzig player was provoked and attacked after a draw between Leipzig and Hallescher SC on the weekend. He reacted by giving a Nazi salute - which in terms of German laws could be a criminal offence.
A spokesman for the prosecutors office in Halle is quoted in the Leipziger Volkszeitung as saying that they had decided not to proceed as the Nigerian was provoked and did not identify with the aims of a organisation that acted outside the constitution.
However, the regional football association is to take incidents during and after the game further by going to a sports court and is also investigating the possibility of enforcing stadium bans more easily.
Leipzig's president Rolf Heller has criticised the Halle police who, he says, looked away when their opponents' fans were making right-wing statements. "It is very worrying that the police looked away."
He said that politicians needed to make a contribution towards solving the problem. "The clubs alone are not in a position to solve the problem.
"It is particularly important in the light of Germany hosting the World Cup. We can't say that the world is going to be our guest if things like these happen. That is a huge problem for our image.
"We need to rectify the picture people could have of Leipzig as a result. A situation has arisen that could reflect poorly on the region and the whole of Germany," Heller said.
Subject: German news