Hertha BSC's Niklas Stark has backed teammate Jordan Torunarigha after he was racially abused during Tuesday's clash with Schalke 04.
|Jordan Torunarigha.||Photo: Steindy, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Hertha BSC captain Niklas Stark says 'the whole team, club and league' should support Jordan Torunarigha after he was victim of racial abuse from fans at Schalke 04's home ground, Veltins-Arena, on Tuesday.
Torunarigha was deeply affected by the abuse and ended up seeing red after he was shown his second yellow card in the extra time of Tuesday's DFB-Pokal clash which saw Schalke go through after a 3-2 win.
"Jordan is a very emotional player, which everybody knows. I'm so sorry that he was racially abused from the stands – I can't imagine what that feels like. I can't even begin to contemplate what it would be like, and even then it still boils my blood, so it must be much worse for him," Stark said in an interview on Hertha's website after the game.
"This kind of thing is not acceptable and it partly explains what happened tonight. The whole team, club and league need to stand with him! Everybody needs to distance themselves from this kind of behavior. You could see how upset he was after the game and before extra time," he added.
Schalke 04 apologized for the incident and expressed support for Torunarigha after the final whistle.
"We have a zero tolerance for something like this. I don't have any understanding for these idiots. We will do everything we can to find those responsible and impose consequences on them," Schalke 04 head of sport Jochen Schneider told reporters after the game.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Schalke coach David Wagner said:
"If such an incident occurred, then I would like to apologize to the player and to his club on behalf of FC Schalke 04."