Wednesday, March 26, 2008

World Cup 2006 Fliers With Racial Undertones Places German Politician In Hot Waters

A pamphlet issued by a German politician from the far-right National Democratic Party has placed the head of the party in hot waters over racial remarks. In the eye of the storm were Udo Voight and two other senior NPD members, who have been charged by Berlin prosecutors with incitement and defamation.

The pamphlet, released during the soccer World Cup in 2006, which Germany hosted, had a picture of a Germany jersey sporting the number 25, the number of German-Nigerian athlete Patrick Owomoyela. The sports shirt had a caption which read, "White, not just the color of a jersey! For a real national team!"

Prosecutor Sabine Herbeth explained the fliers carried a strong message that Owomoyela and other colored players do not deserve to be on the national German team solely on the basis of their skin tone.

When German police searched the NPD offices on April 2006, they discovered 70,000 copies of the offending pamphlet and confiscated it.

Owomoyela, born in Hamburg, was sired by a Nigerian father with a German woman. He is a member of the Werder Bremen team, but no longer plays for the national squad. The mixed-breed athlete and the DFB, the governing body of soccer in the country, filed charges against the politicians in 2006.


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