Sweden player's emotional attack on racist abuse that followed Germany defeat

Sweden player's emotional attack on racist abuse that followed Germany defeat

Sweden midfielder Jimmy Durmaz has launched an emotional attack on the racist abuse he has been subjected to in the wake of the 2-1 World Cup defeat to Germany.

Durmaz's foul on Timo Werner allowed Toni Kroos to score an injury-time winner, which left the Swedes facing an uphill task to qualify from Group F.

The 29-year-old, who was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents who had emigrated from Turkey, has since been the victim of vile abuse on social media, which has included threats against his family.

On Sunday, as the Sweden squad gathered for training, Durmaz, who was flanked by his team-mates and manager Janne Andersson, read a statement to assembled media from a mobile phone.

After reading the statement, Durmaz, who plays his club football for Toulouse, turned to the rest of the squad, who all said: "f*** racism".

The Swedish Football Association said it had reported the abuse and threats to the police.

"I would just like to say a few things regarding what happened after the game yesterday," the 45-cap midfielder said in his statement which was also published on the Swedish FA website.

"I am a footballer at the highest level, I am prepared to be criticised for what I do on the pitch. That's part of the job - and I am always willing to take that. But there is a limit and that limit was passed yesterday.

"When you threaten me, when you call me 'Arab devil', 'terrorist', 'Taliban', then you have gone far beyond the limit.

"And even worse - when you go after my family, my children, threaten them. Who the hell does such a thing? It is completely unacceptable.

"I am Swedish and I am proud to play in the Swedish national team, that's the biggest thing you can do as a football player.

"I will never let any racists destroy that pride. We must all stand against all forms of racism.

"At the same time, I would like to thank all those who supported and showed their love, which means so much."

Andersson supported his player, saying: "We in Sweden's national team, players and coaches, stand 100 percent behind this statement."

Sweden face Mexico in their final group match on Wednesday.

- PA

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