Right-wing politician says Germany national team ‘no longer German’
The politician made global news earlier this week when he stated that most German fans felt colored player Jerome Boateng was good on the pitch but that they would not want him as their neighbor.
Gauland has been at it again with more questionable comments, stating that the German national side is "no longer a question of national identity" but "ultimately a question of money."
"A German or an English national football team is no longer English or German in the classical sense,” he said.
“(Fans) cheer at the football (but) this multicultural world is still alien to most of them.”
Gauland’s comments were largely ignored or rebuffed by fans, who brought messages of support for Boateng to Germany’s clash with Slovakia last weekend.
“You’re our neighbor.”— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 30, 2016
German soccer fans show support for Jérôme Boateng after racist remarks by far-right leader. pic.twitter.com/yY0KO85Rjb
The Bayern Munich defender was born in Berlin to a Ghanian father and German mother, with the center-half one of a host of other national team members to have links to other countries.
German international and Arsenal FC midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has Turkish family ties and is a practising Muslim, recently posted a photo of himself in Mecca on social media.
Alexander Gauland and 'Alternative for Germany' (AfD) have also hit out against this photo, with the outspoken politician saying the picture was “hard to get used to.”
"For officials, teachers, politicians and decision-makers, I would indeed ask the question: Is German democracy the right place for someone who makes the pilgrimage to Mecca?” he said.
"Does their loyalty lie with the German constitution, or with an Islam that really is a political Islam?"
Head of the AfD in Saxony Andrea Kersten went one step further, calling Ozil’s trip to Mecca a “publicity stunt.”
Ozil criticised by far-right over 'unpatriotic' Mecca pilgrimagehttps://t.co/QNLI0Qbt8J— Paul Gilroy (@bungatuffie) May 31, 2016
“When Ozil regularly doesn’t sing along to the national anthem, we are supposed to treat it as his own private matter,” she said.