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German FA to investigate Torunarigha Schalke racism incident

Berlin (AFP) – The German FA (DFB) is to investigate after Hertha Berlin defender Jordan Torunarigha was subjected to racist abuse during a German Cup match against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

On Wednesday, the DFB’s disciplinary committee asked Torunarigha for a statement after the Germany Under-21 defender was the victim of chanting at the Veltins Arena during Tuesday’s match.

Schalke’s sporting director Jochen Schneider said he has apologised to Torunarigha and vowed to find the culprits.

“There is zero tolerance. I lack any understanding for complete idiots of this kind,” said Schneider after the game.

“We will do everything we can to track down those responsible and impose consequences.”

Hertha coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his players complained after Torunarigha, 22, was the victim of racist chants before he was sent off during extra time in the 3-2 third round defeat.

“The boy was insulted. We told the referees that they had to protect him,” Klinsmann said.

Hertha defender Niklas Stark, 24, heard “monkey calls” aimed at Torunarigha.

“There were racist insults from the stands,” Stark said.

“Jordan is an emotional player and if something like that happened to me, I would probably be freaked out too.

“It’s not on and it’s only human to react like that.

“We, as a team, as a club, actually the entire Bundesliga, must stand behind him.”

Hertha manager Michael Preetz gave the club’s backing to Torunarigha, adding “the incident has hit us all very hard”. 

The visibly upset Torunarigha was shown a second yellow card in extra time after throwing a crate of drinks in frustration following a touchline tackle by the home side’s Omar Mascarell.

Schalke coach David Wagner also received a red card for appearing to briefly hold Torunarigha back.

“I didn’t hear the shouts, but I would like to apologise on behalf of Schalke 04 – that’s just not on,” said Wagner, who coached former Huddersfield from 2015 until 2019.

“In England, when something like that happens, they (those responsible) get thrown out.”

Schalke striker Benito Raman, who scored the extra-time winner after the hosts came back from two goals down, said he saw Torunarigha “cry on the pitch, he wanted to stop playing. I told him ‘You can’t let them win, you have to keep playing'”.

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