Borussia Dortmund sign Felix Nmecha despite misgivings over social media posts

AP , Tuesday 4 Jul 2023

Borussia Dortmund have signed midfielder Felix Nmecha from league rival Wolfsburg despite misgivings over homophobic and transphobic social media posts that the player shared.

Felix Nmecha
FILE - Wolfsburg's Felix Nmecha, front, and Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Wolfsburg, Germany, Sunday, April 16, 2023. Photo: AP


“He completely convinced us during intensive talks that he does not hold any transphobic or homophobic beliefs,” Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and club president Reinhold Lunow said in a joint statement on Monday. “Felix himself underlined that he respects and loves all people irrespective of skin color, religion or sexual orientation.”

The 22-year-old Nmecha is a devout Christian and has used Instagram to promote his religious beliefs. But two homophobic and transphobic posts that he shared from other accounts appeared to show the player’s values are at odds with those professed by Dortmund as a club.

“Felix is very young, his religion is deeply rooted and he – like all of us – is certainly not without faults.” Watzke and Lunow said in their statement.

Nmecha says in an interview published by the club that “a few things were taken out of context. And of course I’m a Christian, but I love everybody and do not discriminate. I just hope the fans will give me a chance, to get to know me and hopefully see I’m a great person.”

Nmecha is the younger brother of Lukas Nmecha (24), who has played 47 games for Wolfsburg and made seven appearances for Germany. Both brothers were born in Hamburg to a Nigerian father and German mother. The family moved to England when they were young boys, and both brothers played for England’s youth teams before switching to Germany.

The 22-year-old Nmecha made his Germany debut – so far his only appearance – against Belgium in March. He scored three goals and set up seven more in 50 Bundesliga appearances for Wolfsburg since joining the Volkswagen-backed club from Manchester City in 2021.

Dortmund will hope he can help compensate for Jude Bellingham’s departure to Real Madrid. Kicker magazine reported Dortmund was paying up to 30 million euros ($33 million) for the player, whose contract with Wolfsburg ran to 2025. He will wear the No. 8 for his new club.

Nmecha is Dortmund’s second signing of the offseason after Ramy Bensebaini’s arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach.

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