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Hoffenheim midfielder Samassekou backs George Floyd protests

Reuters/Berlin
Filed on June 9, 2020
Hoffenheim midfielder Diadie Samassekou. - Reuters

Players from a number of Bundesliga teams went down on one knee ahead of their games at the weekend in tribute

Hoffenheim midfielder Diadie Samassekou has welcomed the Bundesliga's solidarity with players protesting the death of George Floyd, but does not believe matches should be abandoned when fans hurl racist abuse. 

Players from a number of Bundesliga teams went down on one knee ahead of their games at the weekend in tribute to Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in U.S. police custody has triggered protests around the world. 

It followed a German Football Association (DFB) decision that players would not face sanction if they show their support, which came after a FIFA recommendation that leagues around the world use "common sense". 

"This is one of the most important things that is happening in football. Everybody is looking in the same direction and we are all in it together. We all want to get rid of it (racism) in football and in life," Samassekou told a round table with African journalists on Tuesday. 

"It has no place, especially in football. In the dressing room you see we are all from different countries, but we treat each other as the same." 

However, Samassekou does not believe matches should be abandoned due to racist abuse by fans when they are allowed back into stadiums, but rather the perpetrators should be singled out for punishment.

"We see it in a lot of stadiums (around the world) and it should be stopped. This is something the people learn at home and we need to change the mentality. Parents should do better with their kids," he said. 

"When it happens at the stadium, we don't have to stop the game. I think the fans have to help us to find the people who are doing this and send them out of the stadium. 

"This is my idea, you cannot also punish 60,000 people because of two or three idiots."


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