20-year-old Arsenal center back Jordi Osei-Tutu has thanked his parent club, current loanee club VFL Bochum and fans for their support after he was subject to racist abuse in a pre-season friendly.
Osei-Tutu was making his debut for Bochum after recently joining the West German club on loan from the Gunners. He said that he was subject to racist abuse against St Gallen on Tuesday, where he tried to speak to the referee before walking off visibly upset towards the end of the first half.
In response, Bochum have launched a message of support and an investigation into the incident – with Arsenal releasing a statement saying “Racism has no place in our game and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. Everyone at the club is right behind you, Jordi!”
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#SayNoToRacism! #meinVfL verurteilt jegliche Form von Rassismus vehement. Jordi, wir stehen hinter dir! ? Der Vorfall im gestrigen Testspiel gegen den FC St.Gallen 1879 wird weiter mit allen Beteiligten aufgearbeitet. Der Verein behält sich weitere Schritte vor. __________ #SayNoToRacism! #meinVfL vehemently condemns all forms of racism. Jordi, we stand behind you! ? The incident in yesterday's test game against FC St.Gallen 1879 will be further processed with all participants. The club reserves the right to take further steps.
Taking to Instagram, Osei-Tutu was defiant following the incident, stating, “Thank you for all the supporting messages. It is deeply sad that this sort of behaviour is still part of the game but it is what it is, it will NEVER stop me playing, it will NEVER stop me achieving my goals and it certainly won’t stop me from excelling on my loan move and having a successful season with VFL Bochum.”
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Thank you for all the supporting messages. It is deeply sad that this sort of behaviour is still part of the game but it is what it is, it will NEVER stop me playing, it will NEVER stop me achieving my goals and it certainly won’t stop me from excelling on my loan move and having a successful season with VFL Bochum ❤?
St Gallen said on their Twitter feed that they “strongly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination” and that “our players respect each other regardless of their origin, skin colour or religion”, despite taking no action against the player accused of racist abuse.
unabhängig von Herkunft, Hautfarbe oder Religion. Der betroffene Spieler hat in einem klärenden Gespräch mit den Verantwortlichen glaubhaft versichert, sich auch gestern im Spiel gegen den VfL Bochum an diesen Vereinsgrundsatz gehalten zu haben.
— FC St.Gallen 1879 (@FCSG_1879) July 10, 2019
It’s sad to see that the response to blatant racist abuse hasn’t dealt with correctly, with no sanctions or punishment taken against the club or player. Much more work needs to be done in all leagues across Europe to ensure racism is stamped out of the game.
Back in April, Raheem Sterling helped launch a new manifesto outlining the radical actions needed to fight racism in football, after saying that t-shirts and social media campaigns “aren’t going far enough” in tackling the problem.