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Germany's head coach blasts public broadcaster for 'racist' survey

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann attends a press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, German, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann attends a press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, German, Sunday, June 2, 2024. Copyright Christian Charisius/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Christian Charisius/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Tamsin Paternoster with AP
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A survey of 1304 people by the country's public broadcaster ARD found that 21 per cent would prefer more players with white skin playing for Germany.

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Two high-profile members of Germany's national football team have come out against a survey organised by a public broadcaster which asked participants if they would prefer to see more people with white skin playing for Germany.

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann said he was "shocked" that the survey had been organised at a press conference at the team's training camp for the Euro 2024 tournament.

“We’re playing a European Championship for everyone in the country" he said, before adding that the survey was "racist, … I feel that we need to wake up.”

Nagelsmann's comments come after Germany's midfielder Joshua Kimmich slammed the survey as "absolutely racist" on Saturday.

"Anyone who’s grown up with soccer knows this is absolute nonsense. Soccer in particular is a good example of how you can unite different nations, different skin colours and different religions" added Kimmich.

Nagelsmann commented that he agreed with Kimmich before telling reporters he hoped to never hear of the survey again.

The poll was commissioned for the national broadcaster ARD’s documentary “Unity and Justice and Diversity", which will be played on Wednesday.

The documentary features several current and former national team players who have experienced racism in Germany's football stadiums.

In a preview for the documentary player Gerald Asamoah, who migrated to Germany from Ghana and played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups said he was regularly insulted as a young player, and that "the N-word was used 1,000 times. That was just normal."

The majority of respondents (65 per cent) said they did not agree or tended to not agree with the survey's statement. The poll showed a divide among political parties with those aligning with Germany's far-right AfD party largely agreeing with the statement with 47%.

Germany- who is hosting the tournament- will play Ukraine on Monday in Nuremberg in a warm-up game, before playing Greece in Mönchengladbach on Friday.

The host nation will get the tournament underway on June 14 against Scotland in Munich. It then plays Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

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