German soccer federation to prosecute perpetrators of online racist abuse

AP , Tuesday 12 Dec 2023

The German soccer federation will start prosecuting people who direct racist abuse and hate speech at players online.

German Football Association
File Photo: the logo of the the German Football Association in front of their headquarters building. Photo courtesy of the German Football Association.


The federation, known as the DFB, said Tuesday it is working with the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt to identify the perpetrators of online abuse and send their cases to local authorities for prosecution.

It comes after a slew of racist and discriminatory comments were directed on social media against Black players on Germany’s team that won the Under-17 World Cup for the first time this month.

“We do not accept the inhumane hostility toward our players on the internet, but will combat it actively and consistently,” federation vice president Ronny Zimmermann said. “We hope that the initial identifications and prosecutions of perpetrators will have a deterrent effect. Online hate is a problem for society as a whole that we all have to combat together.”

The federation said 14 of the comments aimed at the U17 players were deemed to constitute incitement to hatred, leading to investigations in each case, and that cases have initiated against four individuals. It also said it deleted the offending comments and blocked the users responsible.

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