Germany Under-23 is currently preparing for the Olympics, in which context it played a practice match behind closed doors on Saturday morning. The match against the peers of Honduras (also active in Tokyo) had been going on for 85 minutes, when the Germans decided to step off the field at a 1-1 score. According to a tweet from the official account of the German youth teams, this happened after a racist remark against Torunarigha, a defender of Hertha BSC. That comment would have come from an opponent.
During the last European Championship, Orange international Georginio Wijnaldum discussed the subject of ‘racism’. He had previously said that he would step off the field in any case if he or one of his teammates was confronted with racism, but he nuanced that later. ,,I have also come to the conclusion that sounds from the stands can be used. Suppose the people there (in Budapest, where the Netherlands played against the Czech Republic, ed.) think: Orange is better, let’s treat them racist, then they will step off the field and lose the match.”
It is a difficult issue, according to Wijnaldum at the time. ,,Will I go to the referee? I think so. But I’ll be honest: I get a feeling there at that moment and then you react. I’ve never experienced it myself, and I hope never to. But if it happens, UEFA must act. They need to realize that if they don’t, they are putting a big responsibility on the players. UEFA must protect the players. It should not be the responsibility of the players. But I still don’t rule out walking off the field if something like that happened on Sunday.”