Germany Olympic football team walked off the field with five minutes left to play against Honduras in a warm-up friendly after reported incidences of alleged insults directed at 23-year-old defender Jordan Torunarigha, with the match called to an abrupt end.
Stefan Kuntz’s German side faced Central American nation Honduras in Wakayama, Japan in preparation for the 2020 edition of the Olympics, beginning next week after a being delayed by the covid outbreak.
Germany Olympic football team left the pitch with minutes to play after Jordan Torunarigha was directed with alleged racial abuse by Honduras players
With the Olympics warm-up match been played behind closed doors at Wakayama without any spectators in accordance to the covid protocols, German players decided to leave the field after Torunarigha was racially abused by one of the Honduras players.
The players walked off the field with five minutes left to play after the alleged incident took place, when the two teams were 1-1, following Germany‘s equaliser thanks to a goal from Felix Uduokhai.
“In terms of the game, it was very high level. In the third period I was wondering what was going on with Jordan. Five minutes before the end of the game there was a scuffle.” Germany manager Kuntz commented on the incident post match.
“I ran to Jordan because I saw his gestures. He was getting terribly upset. He said that he had been racially insulted for the second time. We decided to leave the pitch because it was against our values.
“The whole Honduras squad came over to the bench and apologised. That ended the issue for us and Jordan.”
“His (Torunarigha’s) team-mates picked him up straight away, gave him a hug for the first few minutes. He was very upset. But you could tell that he was happy to be with us. At the end, we even joked a bit again.
“The team is doing a great job. Of course, it helps when you see your colleagues supporting you. It’s also a strong statement from Jordan to say, “That’s enough”. Kuntz further added, affirming that the whole team is with the youngster.
Meanwhile, the Honduras football federation have released a statement via social media, as they deemed the incident to be a “misunderstanding”.
“Game ended at 87 [minutes] by abandonment due to the fact that a German player alleged an alleged racist insult on the part of the Honduran national team.”
“On the subject, the Seleccion Nacional de Honduras expresses that the situation was the result of a misunderstanding on the pitch.” the Honduras football federation confirmed via their statement.
It’s not the first time Torunarigha fell victim to racism. Previously, he was welcomed with monkey chants by some Schalke fans during a German cup game in February last year, for which Schalke were fined 50,000 euros.
Torunarigha has received immense support morally following the incident, with Torunarigha’s club, Hertha Berlin also insisting that the walk-off was “the only correct decision”.