Statement on the racist incidents in the UEFA Youth League

A Sevilla player repeatedly targeted racist abuse at our player Abdou Kamara.

Racist incidents occurred during the Borussia Dortmund U19s’ UEFA Youth League matches against Sevilla. Lars Ricken, director of the youth performance centre at BVB, comments on the matter .

”We didn’t come out with a statement yesterday as we took a conscious decision to not let ourselves be driven by our emotions, but rather to evaluate what happened with a cool head. In doing so, we retain our ill feeling regarding the conduct of FC Sevilla and their players, not to mention the refereeing team.

Sadly, the whole incident relates back to something that happened in the first leg a week ago, when the same Sevilla player from yesterday targeted racist abuse at our player Abdou Kamara. After last week’s incident, we had hoped to see a firm stance taken by Sevilla. In light of prior events, we turned to the refereeing team and asked that they act with increased sensibility in this regard, which they agreed they would do. Yet after the same thing happened again, and Abdou Kamara tried to bring it to the fourth official’s attention, the refereeing team claimed that the unmistakable monkey noises could not be considered a clear incidence of racism.

Despite the repeated incident, we did not leave the pitch early as the referee’s actions unfortunately gave us the uneasy feeling that, in case of dispute, it would be their word against ours. We feared that by not formally sticking to prior agreements and not following guidelines, our players and we as a team and club would face additional sanctions. So instead we decided to give our opponents the right response on a sporting level and through our conduct on the pitch.

At Borussia Dortmund, we have consistently and enduringly been committed to combating all forms of discrimination for years. For us, racism has no place in football – there is a reason why the neckline of our jersey features the slogan ‘Borussia connects’.”

More news focusing on Football: