Arsenal have condemned the ‘unacceptable racial abuse’ Jordi Osei-Tutu was subjected to during a pre-season friendly for German side VfL Bochum.
The 20-year-old left the field in tears after receiving abuse from an opposition player during Bochum’s clash with Swiss side St Gallen on Tuesday night. Osei-Tutu was reportedly called a ‘black c***’ by one of his opponents and the visibly distraught defender made his way off the field.
The defender appeared to be caught in an altercation with St Gallen goalscorer Sliman Kchouk and was seen remonstrating with the referee shortly after their exchange.
Osei-Tutu eventually returned to the field of play because he said the incident would not prevent him from completing the match. Arsenal were quick to condemn the racial abuse and said they are giving their ‘full support’ to Osei-Tutu.
‘Last night Jordi Osei-Tutu received unacceptable racial abuse playing for VfL Bochum during a pre-season friendly match against Swiss club St Gallen,’ a statement from Arsenal read. ‘We are working closely with Bochum and Jordi and we are giving him our full support. Racism has no place in our game and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.’
The youngster admitted he was ‘very disappointed’ by the incident. ‘I am very disappointed that I was racially abused,’ said Osei-Tutu. ‘Nobody should ever be discriminated against and it is really hard to understand how a fellow professional footballer can behave disrespectfully in this way.’
Kick It Out, the anti-discrimination group, said: ‘Before the season has even begun a young player has endured sickening racist abuse. If anyone is in any doubt about the devastating impact such abuse can have, look at the footage of Jordi Osei-Tutu. After last season we can only hope this is not a grim sign of things to come.’
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