By Eva Lodde, Mike Glindmeier, Jens Todt.
Mired in betting scandals, riven by infighting and alarmed by recent poor performances on the pitch, German soccer needs anything but more controversy in the few months remaining before it hosts the World Cup. But some recent cases of blatant racism are doing further damage to its image. It started with a Hitler salute. Two eastern German soccer teams in the fourth division, FC Sachsen Leipzig and Hallesche FC, had just drawn 2-2 on March 25 in Halle, and the fans weren't happy. Leipzig's Nigerian midfielder Adebowale Ogungbure was walking off the pitch when hooligans ran up to him, spat at him and called him "Dirty Nigger," "Shit Nigger" and "Ape." He ignored it and walked on. Then, when he passed the main stand and heard fans making whooping monkey noises at him, he decided he'd had enough. He put two fingers above his mouth to symbolise a Hitler moustache and stuck out his right arm in a Nazi salute to the crowd.Given their behavior, one might think they would have appreciated the gesture and even returned it. But a Halle supporter attacked him from behind with a corner flag and another grabbed him in a stranglehold. Ogungbure pushed them away as a teammate intervened and dragged him towards the tunnel, to the safety of the changing rooms. Continue reading “RACISM ON THE SOCCER FIELD”