'He should be SACKED': Fan fury after football ace cops ban for spitting in opponent's face amid COVID-19 surge in Germany (VIDEO)
Champions League star Marcus Thuram claimed the altercation with Hoffenheim defender Stefan Posch, who was forced to wipe spit from his face after the French forward squared up to him, had "occurred accidentally" at the weekend.
The son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram was given a five-match ban by Bundesliga chiefs on Monday, having already been fined $48,000 by Borussia Monchengladbach and axed from the team by disgusted coach Marco Rose ahead of their next match.
"Something took place that is not in my character and must never happen," the rising star told his following of more than 210,000 on Instagram.
Marcus Thuram sent off for spitting at Hoffenheim’s Stefan Posch today - a really petulant move in the middle of a particularly intense moment in the pandemic in Germany & beyond. pic.twitter.com/oW1SbaNU6u— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 19, 2020
Theres a virus going about he should be sacked on the spot— Robert Lamont (@RobertL04746414) December 20, 2020
Wow! Throw the book at him, spitting is unacceptable at the best best of times, right now it’s basically a criminal offence surely?— Lloydi (@Lloydi200182) December 19, 2020
"I reacted to an opponent in a wrong way and something occurred accidentally and not intentionally.
“I apologize to everyone, to Stefan Posch, to my opponents, to my teammates, to my family and to all who saw my reaction. Of course, I accept all consequences of my gesture.”
Outraged fans lambasted Thuram and voiced their shock at a time when Germany is on high alert around health guidelines as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.
One pointed out that a man was jailed in the UK for spitting at another person in November as authorities attempted to prevent similar situations from occurring.
That should be a massive, massive ban.— Marques Houston is the best Batman (@durrellb) December 19, 2020
"Doing that during a pandemic should be an absolute minimum of a ten-game ban - probably longer," another argued. "When it’s on a football pitch, assault doesn’t seem to count."
A fellow viewer urged: "They should throw the book at him. Spitting is reprehensible at the best of times but it is especially repulsive in the present Covid pandemic."
Thuram has increasingly impressed since joining Gladbach from French side Guingamp for around $14.5 million in 2019, taking the number ten shirt vacated by Eden Hazard's brother, Thorgan, following his move to Borussia Dortmund.
The towering 23-year-old scored ten goals last season and netted twice in a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in this season's Champions League to help his side qualify for the knockout stages from a group that included Inter Milan.
Eighth-placed Gladbach had conceded an equalizer to make it 1-1 just three minutes before Thuram was dismissed, and their misery was compounded when the visitors added a second late goal to win the game following his premature departure.
wants banning for life even without this pandemic. Disgusting— #WAWAW (@ozzieowl71) December 19, 2020
This is actually a criminal offence during an international pandemic.— ap (@otheranthony) December 19, 2020
Hope @FIFAcom is planning a life ban for Marcus Thuram for spitting on someone in this pandemic— jofrancis (@thechosensnizo) December 19, 2020
Rose condemned the disgraced Thuram's moment of madness. “It is completely out of line and has no place on the football pitch," he admitted.
“Marcus is a good person, is self-reflecting and has been well raised. He must have blown a fuse in that moment - it’s the only explanation for his behaviour.
"I apologize for that. He has done his team a disservice. Of course I have spoken with him, and he has spoken to the team, too.
"There's a lot of flak coming his way - rightly so - but we will stand by him."Also on rt.com 'Google me': World Cup winner's $14mn football star son shows security his PHONE after forgetting ID before Champions League match