World champs Germany rally round refugees

2015-09-02 15:39
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photograph: Reuters Images
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photograph: Reuters Images.

Berlin - Germany's World Cup-winning footballers have condemned xenophobic attacks on the thousands of foreigners pouring into their country and led calls to help the refugees amidst the ongoing crisis here.

Led by captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, a group of players appear in a video holding up signs condemning violence and calling for "respect", "help", "integration" and "fairplay" towards any refugee arriving in Germany.

Europe's biggest economy this year expects a record 800,000 asylum applications, more than any other EU country.

More than 100 migrants an hour arrived in Germany early Wednesday amid a record influx travelling on packed trains to the southern city of Munich, said police.

So far this year, German police have recorded over 125,000 illegal entries, more than double last year's total of about 57,000, with many coming from war-torn Syria, followed by Eritrea, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Serbia.

The influx has sparked a wave of attacks on asylum-seekers and violent protests against foreigners, while Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany would have "no tolerance" for "shameful and vile" violence against refugees.

The message of support from Germany's football stars, who are preparing for Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier at home against Poland, is bound to carry weight in the soccer-mad country.

"Of course, we are concerned about the issue. It's important for us to set an example"," said Germany's team manager Oliver Bierhoff with the video posted on the German Football Association's (DFB) website.

Midfielder Toni Kroos said the squad felt they had "a duty to do something against violence and xenophobia".

"My attitude is that Germany, as one of the richest countries on earth, must help," added the Real Madrid star.

Bayern Munich star Thomas Mueller said a solution to the problem must be found, but added "first of all, our duty is to help people".

A DFB delegation will visit a Christian Aid refugee housing project in the Frankfurt suburb of Egelsbach next Wednesday and meet players from "Refugee United" - a team made up of immigrants who play at the local football club.

Read more on:    germany  |  thomas mueller  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.