German national team fury at ‘racist’ ARD survey asking if fans wanted to see more white players

June 3 – German head coach Julian Nagelsmann has expressed his shock over a survey that asked participants if they wanted to see more white players on the national team.

The poll by public broadcaster ARD said 21% of respondents wanted to see more white players.

The current national squad has a number of players with mixed heritage, including captain Ilkay Gündogan defender Antonio Rudiger and forwards Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala.

“It is racist. I feel we need to wake up. Many people in Europe had to flee… searching for a safe country,” Nagelsmann said on Sunday.

The 36-year-old said he agreed with Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who described the questionnaire as “racist” a day earlier.

“Josh [Kimmich] responded really well, with a very clear and thought-out statement,” Nagelsmann said at a briefing at his team’s training base.

“I see this in exactly the same way. This question is insane.

“There are people in Europe who’ve had to flee because of war, economic factors, environmental disasters, people who simply want to be taken in.

“We have to ask what are we doing at the moment? We in Germany are doing very, very well, and when we say something like that, I think it’s crazy how we turn a blind eye and simply block out such things.”

ARD commissioned the survey after a reporter working on a documentary about football and diversity was frequently asked about the composition of the national team.

Karl Valks, sports director with the ARD station who commissioned the poll, said the company was “dismayed that the results are what they are, but they are also an expression of the social situation in Germany today.

“Sport plays an important role in our society, the national team is a strong example of integration.”

The controversy arose only weeks after Adidas, the team’s kit manufacturer, had to prohibit fans from purchasing German football kits customised with the number 44 following media reports highlighting the number’s resemblance to symbols used by Nazi SS units during the Second World War – not an image the hosts want to be associated with.

On Monday, his team meet Ukraine before wrapping up their Euro 2024 preparations with a friendly against Greece. The Germans kick off the tournament on home soil against Scotland on June 14. They face Hungary and Switzerland in their two other Group A encounters.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721512696labto1721512696ofdlr1721512696owedi1721512696sni@g1721512696niwe.1721512696yrrah1721512696