Kimmich slams ‘racist’ survey on Germany team

Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich has described a survey that found that 1 in 5 of his compatriots would prefer more white players on the national team as “absolutely racist.”

The poll of 1,304 randomly selected participants was commissioned for national broadcaster ARD’s documentary “Unity and Justice and Diversity,” which is to be shown on Wednesday. Some 21% of those surveyed said they would prefer it if more players with white skin were playing for Germany.

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“Anyone who’s grown up with football knows this is absolute nonsense. Football in particular is a good example of how you can unite different nations, different skin colors and different religions,” Kimmich, who is white, said Saturday. “That’s what our team is all about. I would miss a lot of players if they weren’t here. This is absolutely racist and has no place in our changing room.”

Kimmich was speaking in Herzogenaurach, where Germany are holding a training camp for the upcoming European Championship. The 27-man squad includes six Black players.

“When you consider that we are about to host a European Championship at home, it’s absurd to ask such a question when the aim is actually to unite the whole country,” Kimmich said. “It’s about achieving great things together. As a team, we’re trying to get everyone in Germany behind us.”

Germany warm up for Euro 2024 with friendlies against Ukraine in Nuremberg on Monday and Greece four days later in Mönchengladbach.

The host nation will get the tournament underway June 14 against Scotland in Munich. Germany then play Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

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