A Liga 3 game involving VfL Osnabruck and MSV Duisburg was abandoned after Ghanaian player Aaron Opoku was racially abused by a fan.
The 22-year-old drew the attention of referee Nicolas Winter to the racial chant in the stands as he headed down the tunnel.
The game had only travelled for 33 minutes when the incident happened as the referee marched both teams into the dressing room as it became apparent that the racial attacks were aimed at the Ghanaian who is on loan at Osnabruck from giants Hamburg SV.
Opoku’s teammates then refused to honour the remaining minutes of the fixture at the MSV Arena in solidarity with the player, leaving the match to be abandoned.
According to British outlet Dailymail, the fan was identified by stadium officials in Duisburg and was ejected from the ground, as the home fans chanted ‘Nazis Out’ as they joined in solidarity with Opoku, 22.
Duisburg’s stadium PA announcer then played the anti-fascist song ‘Schrei nach Liebe’ as they continued in displaying their disgust at what one of their own supporters told the German player, who is of Ghanaian descent.
A VfL spokesperson revealed that Opoku was mentally distraught by the alleged remark but praised Duisburg’s response to the incident.
VfL press officer Sebastian Ruther told Magenta Sport after Sunday’s game was suspended: ‘I only heard it from above, but it quickly became clear what it was all about.
‘It is clear that there were racist remarks and our player Aaron Opoku is mentally quite down. The important thing is that it’s about Aaron. It’s crucial for us that he’s not doing well.
‘There was incredible solidarity in the stadium, also from the Duisburg spectators.’
Osnabruck’s managing director Michael Welling revealed that his team have offered to replay the match and also mentioned Opoku’s poor mental state on Sunday afternoon.
‘The DFB (German Football Association) has to decide with its authorities what is right. We would like to play a replay or something like that.
‘Racism must not be part of our society and also not part of football. Aaron is very, very exhausted and that was also a reason to say that we are no longer players. We just don’t accept that as a club.’
The MSV apologizes for the incident, “this is a no-go”. Both sporting directors are in discussion with the referee about how to proceed. Then the decision was made to abandon the game altogether.