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Football | Germany

Asamoah criticises Germany teammates



Germany's Ghana-born former international Gerald Asamoah has criticised ex-captain Michael Ballack and other team-mates in the national side for failing to speak out against racism in the game after he was subject to racist abuse.

In his autobiography, excerpts of which were published in Monday's Bild newspaper, Asamoah describes how he was racially abused while playing for Schalke against Hansa Rostock's reserve side in the German Cup in 2006.

Asamoah, who had shortly before played for Germany at the 2006 World Cup, said the abuse was well publicized at the time and had been so bad the referee wanted to abandon the game at half-time.

However the midfielder, who is the first African-born player to play for Germany, said he waited in vain for any support from within the national team.

"The fact is I would have wished at the time for a reaction from former players in the national team and especially from the captain (Ballack) -a clear statement against incidents like these," Asamoah says in the book which goes on sale on January 14.

"That this did not happen really disappointed me and gives me cause for thought."

Asamoah, 34, who now plays for Bundesliga side Greuther Fuerth, said he had thought about quitting the national team at the time.

"What sense is there, I thought, in playing for a country whose fans don't want me?," he said.

Asamoah played 43 games for Germany and was also in squad at the 2002 World Cup where he appeared as a substitute in the 2-0 final defeat to Brazil.

The comments come as the game again confronts racism following abuse which prompted AC Milan's Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng to walk off the pitch - followed by his team-mates - in a friendly game in Italy on Thursday.

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