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Aug 20, 2013

DFB investigates racist abuse in Munich

The German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed it has begun an investigation into the racial abuse that took place during a 2. Bundesliga game between TSV 1860 Munich and FC Ingolstadt at the Allianz Arena.

Danny Da Costa was targeted by a small group of 1860 Munich fans.
Danny Da Costa was targeted by a small group of 1860 Munich fans.

Ingolstadt defender Danny da Costa, born in Germany to Angolan and Congolese parents, told SID that he had been abused throughout his side’s 1-0 defeat to the Lions on Sunday.

“Whenever the ball came near me, there were monkey chants. That was a pretty bad feeling,” the Germany Under-21 international said. "In this form, it is something I have never experienced before."

He said he had been called “n*****” and “black pig” by a small number of fans on Sunday, adding: “There were not many -- just a few who thought they could be strong in a group.”

He told referee Florian Meyer during the game that he had been “viciously insulted” and “would no longer accept it”.

While some players, notably AC Milan star Kevin Prince Boateng, have left the field in response to abuse, Da Costa said: “That was not an option for me at that moment.”

Meyer instead asked the stadium announcer to address the crowd, which Da Costa felt sent out a “good signal”.

Ingolstadt team-mate Ralph Gunesch also addressed the issue on his Facebook page.

“To persistently call a dark-skinned opponent ‘n*****’ and urge him to go ‘back to the jungle’ and accompany that with monkey chants only shows that your IQ is just above that of burnt toast,” the former St Pauli defender wrote.

The message was shared over 1,000 times within minutes of being posted and fired up discussion of the issue in Germany.

On Monday, the DFB confirmed it was looking into the abuse.

“We can confirm that the control board has started investigations regarding the incidents during the 1860 Munich vs FC Ingolstadt game,” a DFB spokesperson told SID.

1860 Munich executive Robert Schafer said the club had already singled out a perpetrator.

“Any abuse of this type has no place at our games,” Schafer said. “We were able to identify the person and have reported his behaviour. Moreover, we immediately penalised him with a stadium ban.”

The German broadsheet Suddeutsche Zeitung featured an editorial arguing that, given the money available to German football, there was no excuse for shying away from the fight against racism.

The paper added that, while it would be wrong to label 1860 fans right-wing reactionaries, it would be a "distortion of reality" to ascribe the problem to a single fan. It continued: "The Lions should know that. Problems there have already led to the ‘Lions against the right’ campaign by courageous fans.

“There is only one guideline to be followed by clubs and spectators: zero tolerance.”

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