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Chemnitz football club condemns racism among own fans

August 25, 2019

Chemnitz FC has threatened to consider legal action after its own fans chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a Munich away game. The club is in a running conflict with the far-right contingent among its supporters.

FC Chemnitz
Image: Imago Images/foto2press/S. Leifer

Players of the Chemnitz football team did not offer their fans the traditional applause at the end of their third division match against Bayern Munich's second team on Saturday, after racist chants were heard during the game.

"The reason for this was expressions from the away end during the second half of the game, which Chemnitz FC (CFC) and all its active participants considers repulsive and utterly rejects," the club said in a statement issued on Saturday evening.

During the game, CFC fans also hung out a banner reading "We won't let ourselves be blackmailed!"

According to the club's statement, fans called CFC sporting director Thomas Sobotzik a "Jewish pig" and chanted "At least Daniel Frahn is not a negro." Sobotzik sacked Frahn, the team captain, earlier this month after he repeatedly showed support for the local far-right hooligan group.

The fans' chants "cannot have any acceptance in our society," the club's statement said, before adding that CFC was considering legal action against the fans.

Conflict with fans

CFC has been in a running conflict with the far-right section of its supporters for several months, with some fans turning their back on the club as the far-right hooligan presence increased.

During a match in March, fans held a minute's silence and displayed a banner in honor of Thomas Haller, a local far-right leader and former head of the club's security firm. In the early 1990s, he founded the hooligan group HooNaRa, short for "Hooligans Nazis Racists."

It was during the same match that Frahn celebrated scoring a goal by holding up a T-shirt that read "Support your local hools!" He was given a warning on that occasion, as well as a four-game suspension and a €3,000 ($3,300) fine by the league authority, but was finally sacked by the club in August when he was seen socializing with hooligans after a league game.

Daniel Frahn holds up a T-shirt reading "Support Your Local Hools"
Former captain Daniel Frahn (holding the shirt aloft) was eventually sacked by the clubImage: imago/H. Haertel

Some 1,000 people attended Haller's funeral, under heavy police supervision, though there was little trouble.

Chemnitz Mayor Barbara Ludwig, a favorite target of the city's far-right scene, demanded an investigation into how the memorial action during the game came about.

The city of Chemnitz, in Saxony, is home to a well-established neo-Nazi network, which was known to have connections with the far-right terrorist organization National Socialist Underground (NSU).

It was also the scene of major far-right demos in September 2018 following the killing of a local man during a fight with asylum-seekers. A young Syrian was convicted of manslaughter this week for the crime.

Chemnitz honors hooligan


Benjamin Knight Kommentarbild PROVISORISCH
Ben Knight Ben Knight is a journalist in Berlin who mainly writes about German politics.@BenWernerKnight