By News Desk
German football club, Bayern Munich, on Thursday, kicked off a campaign against racisim, targeted at preventing a repeat of activities during their Bundesliga encounter with 1899 Hoffenheim.
During last weekend encounter, fans of the football club protested against Hoffenheim club president, Dietmar Hopp, prompting the match referee, Christian Dingert, to take players down the tunnel, as an act to compel fans to bring down the banner.
To prevent a further repeat, the club kicked off its racism campaign tagged ‘Reds against Racism‘, stressing that it would not support any action that supports exclusion and abuse in any facet of the society.
In a video posted on its official website, accompanied by a short message, the club rallied male and female football players, basketball and it former president, Uli Honness, to champion the campaign against the act.
It said: “Today, FCbayern kicks off its campaign ‘Reds against Racism‘, with which the club is taking a stand against exclusion, abuse, and intolerance”.
The protest which prompted the campaign started during first half of the game, intensified after Bayern scored the sixth goal with Hoffenheim fans unfurled an offensive banner about the club’s president.
Even after the protest championed by Bayern fans subsided and the referee was persuaded, the match could not continue as players passed the ball between each other for 13 minutes after a long delay for an offensive banner in the crowd.
The match eventually restarted from 77 minutes, with fans told it would be abandoned if the banner appeared again. Bayern’s and Hoffenheim’s players then just kicked the ball between themselves – with goalkeepers not in their goals – to get the game to its conclusion.
At the final whistle, 79-year-old Hopp was given a standing ovation alongside Bayern chief executive, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and the players on the pitch in a show of solidarity.