Bayern Munich accused of racism over Halloween party photo
Germany’s most successful football club Bayern Munich is facing a barrage of criticism after it posted a photo on its Twitter account of a player’s Halloween party.
In the photo, one player appears to be wearing traditional Arab attire and is holding a box that looks like a package bomb, with caution stickers and wires coming out of it.
CNN has reached out to Bayern Munich for comment about the image, which sparked accusations of racism on Twitter.
Since then, Brazilian national Márcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza — known as “Rafinha” — posted an apology on his official Twitter account.
“Halloween is a scary celebration with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to anger anyone through my disguise or hurt someones feelings,’ tweeted Rafinha.
The Bundesliga club quickly deleted the photo, but not before a number of Twitter users had accused Bayern of racism, with one saying: “Seriously?… someone dressed up as BOMBER(?)”.
Another wrote: “This is sick … not all Arabs bombers, it looks funny for you but you don’t know how you are effecting others.”
One Twitter user referenced a 2017 attack on another Bundesliga club, saying: “Just imagine if somebody dressed up as a German determined to bomb a bus full of star German soccer players. Which is a thing that actually happened like 18 months ago.”
Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was attacked after a German-Russian citizen allegedly planted a bomb at the side of the road.
Only three months ago, Mesut Ozil quit the German national team over what he said was racist treatment from the media and the president of Germany’s football federation (DFB) Reinhard Grindel.
“[I] will no longer be playing for Germany … whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” he said.
While rejecting Ozil’s accusations of racism, Grindel said the organization could have done better in the way it dealt with the Arsenal player.
“Of course I have been asking myself what I could have done differently,” said Grindel in statement.
“Looking back, I should have clearly stated what is unquestionable both for me and the association: that racist hostility in any form is unacceptable, intolerable and insufferable.
In August, Germany coach Joachim Loew said: “Nowhere within my team during my time here, there has been not even as hint of racism.”
The dominant force in German football, Bayern has won six consecutive Bundesliga titles, though this season after an uncertain start lies second, two points behind Dortmund.
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