German soccer teams to wear jerseys against hate, racism

German and Argentine players show a banner reading "No To Racism" prior to the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Argentina and Germany. (Michael Sohn/AP)

BERLIN — The soccer teams in Germany’s third-division will wear special jerseys against hate, racism and discrimination this weekend following the racially motivated gun attack in Hanau and the racist abuse in the league a week before.

The German soccer federation said Friday that nearly all the division’s teams, the referees and children accompanying the players onto the field would wear shirts with the motto “red card for racism.”

There will also be a minute’s silence and flowers laid for the victims and families affected by the attack in Hanau, where nine people of foreign background were killed in a rampage by a German gunman.

“We stand together against anyone who attacks our values,” federation president Fritz Keller said, referring to the fan reaction when one Preußen Munster supporter directed monkey chants at Wurzburger Kickers defender Leroy Kwadwo last Friday.

Munster fans shouted “Nazis out! Nazis out!” and forced the perpetrator to leave.

“The reaction and unity of the fans and clubs are impressive, both immediately after the shameful episode in Munster and now, when it comes to continuing the fight against racism,” Keller said.

The German soccer federation described the fatal attacks in Hanau as “an attack on our deepest convictions and thus on ourselves.”

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