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Germany coach slams 'racist' survey by public broadcaster

June 3, 2024

The poll within a WDR documentary asked participants if they would like more white players to represent Germany. National team coach Julian Nagelsmann said that people need to "wake up" and that football should "unite."

Julian Nagelsmann in a press conference
Nagelsmann was outraged by the poll as he prepares the German national team for the upcoming EurosImage: Federico Gambarini/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann on Sunday described a survey that asked participants if they would like more white players to represent the national team as "racist."

The poll, conducted in April, was aired during a TV documentary by German public broadcaster WDR. The 1,304 random respondents were asked to tick which of a series of statements applied to them. 21% voted yes when asked about wanting more white players on the team, while 65% did not agree at all.

The other statements were about whether it was good that Germany has footballers from migrant backgrounds (66% did) and whether it was a shame that the national team captain Ilkay Gündogan had Turkish roots (17% did).


Joshua Kimmich condemned the survey, and Nagelsmann agreed with the versatile Bayern Munich and Germany player.

'I agree that it is racist' — Nagelsmann on survey

"Josh responded really well, with a very clear and thought-out statement," Nagelsmann said. "I agree that it is racist. I have the feeling that we need to wake up. Many people in Europe had to flee ... searching for a safe country."

Joshua Kimmich in a press conference
On Saturday, Kimmich spoke out against the surveyImage: Christian Charisius/dpa/picture alliance

"A football team can be a role model of how to unite different cultures, religious backgrounds and skin color. It is good the way it is now. We play a Euro for everyone in the country and whoever plays top football is invited to be a national team member. I hope I never have to read such crap polls again."

Their comments came on the back of several figures who spoke up for the documentary. Former Germany player Gerald Asamoah said, "The N-word was also used a thousand times. That was just normal."

Germany is hosting this summer's European Championship, which begins on June 14. The host nation will open the tournament against Scotland in Munich.

Germany's team competing at the Euros is made up of Black players and players with Turkish backgrounds, among others.

mp,jsi/kb (dpa, AP, Reuters)