Monday 27 May 2019

Swedes unite against racism after Durmaz abuse

Sweden's Jimmy Durmaz. Photo: Pilar Olivares/Reuters
Sweden's Jimmy Durmaz. Photo: Pilar Olivares/Reuters newsdesk

Jimmy Durmaz and his Swedish team-mates took a strong stand against racism after the Swedish FA complained to police about a storm of racial hatred and threats aimed at the winger following his late mistake against Germany on Saturday.

Substitute Durmaz gave away the stoppage-time free-kick that led to Toni Kroos' stunning winner in the Group F clash, and the stream of invective on the 29-year-old's Instagram account began almost as soon as the goal was scored.

The Swedes began yesterday's training session in Gelendzhik by uniting behind Durmaz as he read a statement from his cellphone.

"I am a footballer at the highest level, being criticised is something we live with, but being called 'f***ing immigrant' and 'suicide bomber', and having death threats made against me and my children is completely unacceptable," Durmaz said.

"I am Swedish, and with pride I wear our shirt and our flag. I want to thank the fine, wonderful people who spread joy. It warms us all. We stand united, we are Sweden."

The statement concluded with the entire squad shouting "F**k racism!" before applauding and jogging out to begin their workout.

Earlier in the day, general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said that the Swedish FA had reported the abuse to police on behalf of the player.

"A number of complaints have been made with the Swedish FA as the plaintiff so that Jimmy can concentrate on what he is here to do - play football. But Durmaz is fully behind the complaints," Sjostrand said in a statement.

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