Germany’s Jordan Torunarigha and his teammates exited the field Saturday during a game against Honduras after Torunahiga was allegedly racially abused.
The two countries were playing a closed-doors Olympic warm-up game in Wakayama, Japan. As a result of the abuse, the game – which was played in three 30 minute segments – ended five minutes early, Germany’s team Twitter account confirmed. The score was 1-1.
The Honduras Football Federation denies that any racially charged comments were made intentionally, stating on Twitter: “Regarding this matter, the Honduras Football Federation states that the situation was a misunderstanding on the pitch.”
WANT BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACCESS IN TOKYO? Sign up for Olympic texts to get exclusive access to the Games
Torunarigha, 23, has not made any statement on the incident, but his coach, Stefan Kuntz did.
“When one of our players is racially abused, playing on is not an option,” Kuntz said.
Incidents of racial abuse both on and off the pitch have been a staple in the international soccer world, especially in the past few months.
Following the UEFA Euro 2021 Final on July 11, three Black players faced abusive online behavior from England fans after missing penalty kicks in a shootout that determined the game. Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford missed their shots as England tried to take home its first international trophy since 1996.
Four people were arrested on July 15 for online abuse targeted at the players.
In June, U.S. Men’s National Team defender Mark McKenzie said he was also a victim of online racial attacks following the team’s win over Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League Final. McKenzie gave away a ball early in the night that led to Mexico’s first goal and later had a handball in the box.
“Supporters or non supporters, fans or not … it’s about having respect for your fellow brothers and sisters from various corners of the earth because our diversity is what makes us so powerful,” McKenzie wrote on Twitter.
The CONCACAF Nations League final was also briefly paused as part of anti-harassment procedures due to homophobic chants from Mexican fans, a non-isolated incident.
Contact Emily Leiker at [email protected] or on Twitter @emleiker