German Football Club Sack Captain for Openly Displaying Sympathy for “Neo-Nazi” Groups
The German third division team Chemnitzer FC have parted ways with their captain after accusing the player of “openly displaying” his sympathy for alleged “neo-Nazi” groups among the club’s supporters.
Star striker Daniel Frahn, who missed Saturday’s away game against Hallescher FC due to an injury, had chosen to watch his side’s 3-1 defeat from the guest block rather than the team bench, seated next to leading figures from the patriotic far-right hooligan scene.
Former RB Leipzig player Frahn, 32, was already fined by the club in March this year after joining in on a tribute to a deceased nationalist activist and known hooligan by holding up a black T-shirt bearing the slogan “Support your local hools”.
At the time, the player had apologised, saying he had acted “in solidarity with the relatives” of Thomas Haller, a co-founder of far-right group HooNaRa (“Hooligans, Nazis, Racists”), knowing that the T-shirts had been sold to help pay for his medical care. “I didn’t know that that T-shirt was so widespread in the Nazi scene,” he said.
In a statement released on Monday, the club described Frahn’s show of remorse as a “farce” and said it had been wrong to trust his words following the incident earlier in the year.
“He could not and would not live up to the responsibility of the player and team captain of a football club, which involves more than scoring goals and letting yourself be cheered by the crowd: namely, attitude,” said Romy Polster, deputy chair of Chemnitzer FC’s shareholder meeting.
Last August, the city in the formerly socialist east German state of Saxony saw two days of anti-migrant violence that left several nonwhite migrants injured. In the wake of the riots, Chemnitzer FC said on Monday the club saw itself “duty-bound to be a bulwark against rightwing extremism”.