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Football | Germany

Ex-Germany star speaks out against racism



Ex-Germany star Gerald Asamoah has called for better education against racism after Under-21 international Danny da Costa was racially abused during a second division match at the weekend.

Asamoah, 34, was the first African-born player to play for Germany when he made the first of his 43 international appearances in 2001 and pulled on the white shirt for the last time in 2006.

The Ghana-born striker said he was shocked to hear Ingolstadt's Da Costa had been racially abused by a small group of 1860 Munich supporters during a second division match on Sunday.

"We need to talk about it now, but in two weeks it will all be forgotten," Asamoah told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"Then everything will just return to normal.

"We need to reach out to the children, our future, and tell them that this shouldn't happen again.

"A small child in the stadium hears what his father shouts.

"The father, in his mid forties, you can't change, people like that have a screw loose, but we have to reach out to the kids."

Having played for Germany Under-21 in last Tuesday's goalless draw with France, Da Costa endured a torrent of insults on Sunday during Ingolstadt's 1-0 defeat at 1860 Munich's Allianz Arena.

"In the second-half, several fans, or whatever you want to call them, felt the need to shout stuff like 'nigger' or 'black pig' in my direction," the Ingolstadt defender told SID on Monday.

"Recently, I stood on the pitch with the Under-21 team and sang the German national anthem - now I have to take these insults."

The German Football Federation (DFB) are investigating the incident, while 1860 Munich have apologised and a supporter has been arrested and will be banned from their stadium.

But Asamoah said he was troubled to hear that such racism can still be heard on Germany's football terraces.

"We are in 2013 and the fact we still have to talk about this is a shock," said Asamoah.

"It's unbelievable, but it's not just about football.

"If you decide to live in a country, you belong to it, no matter what your colour.

"So this is really, really painful to hear."

Asamoah, who now plays for Schalke's reserves, said he has suffered racism throughout his career and the lowest point was after the 2006 World Cup, while playing for Schalke's first-team in a game at Rostock.

"I have three children and I don't want them to experience the things I have," he said, having been part of the squad which finished third when Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup.

"The worst for me was after the 2006 World Cup, when I thought times like that were over.

"Everyone was delighted at the success of the national team.

"But we went to Rostock and once again I was singled out as coloured: 'You don't belong here!'

"That was a really bitter moment.

"That is why I will always talk about racism, I will never keep my mouth shut."

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