Home » Rapid Vienna and Guido Burgstaller punished for homophobic statements

Rapid Vienna and Guido Burgstaller punished for homophobic statements

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Rapid Vienna and Guido Burgstaller punished for homophobic statements

As of: March 4, 2024 11:13 p.m

Suspensions against seven players from Rapid Vienna, points deducted on probation: Austria’s Bundesliga has reacted to the scandal following the derby against Austria Vienna.

“The Austrian Football Bundesliga is committed to the fight against discrimination of all kinds,” said the Criminal Senate on Monday (March 4, 2024). What happened after the derby against Austria Vienna at the end of February “is in no way consistent with the values ​​that football as a whole and the Austrian Football Bundesliga in particular stand for.”

After twelve derbies in a row without a win, the capital city club had defeated local rivals Austria Vienna again, the 3-0 (3-0) on Sunday (February 25, 2024) was the first prestige success since September 2019. The team then had a coach Robert Klauß, previously on the sidelines at 1. FC Nürnberg, celebrated extensively in front of the home fans – and made several mistakes, as documented by video footage circulating on social media.

Managing director Hofmann insulted the guests, clearly audible through a megaphone. In addition, the team around ex-Bundesliga professional Burgstaller and Werder loanee Grüll sang homophobic chants.

Rapid shows remorse, the Senate “appreciates” it

The fact that all the actors involved and the Rapid Vienna club “credibly demonstrated” that they were “very sorry for the events” was acknowledged by the Senate in its sentencing “appropriately”.

The club was punished with a deduction of three points – but the penalty is suspended for two years. Captain Guido Burgstaller was suspended for six competitive games due to discrimination, of which three games are suspended for two years. In addition, he must take part in workshops on the topic of discrimination. Marco Grüll (six games, three of them suspended) and Thorsten Schick (five games suspended, two suspended) were also convicted of discrimination.

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Maximilian Hofmann and Niklas Hedl were suspended for three games for violating the spirit of fair play; one game is suspended. They also have to take part in anti-discrimination workshops. Managing director Steffen Hofmann was suspended for two months for defamation; half of the sentence is suspended. Assistant coach Stefan Kulovits was suspended for three months for discrimination and one month is suspended.

Rapid reumütig

Even before the sentence was announced, those responsible for Rapid had shown remorse. “Unfortunately, we cannot undo these mistakes,” Burgstaller is quoted on the club website: “We would also like to clearly distance ourselves from any discrimination and homophobia and apologize to everyone who we directly or indirectly offended through our behavior have.”

Hofmann had also apologized to his city rival on Monday and described his words as “absolutely inappropriate”: “The joy of winning the derby remains, as do my regrets about the choice of words.” Despite all the rivalry, this was not appropriate. Kulovits also acknowledged “a big mistake” and expressed his “sincere regret.” Burgstaller explained that the players had “unfortunately not lived up to their role model” at all.

Difficult task for coach Klauss

Rapid Vienna has an important game coming up on Sunday (March 10, 2024). Rapid Vienna (6th place) plays against Austria Klagenfurt (4th place) for a place in the championship group. A draw would be enough for Rapid. Coach Klauß not only has to do without an assistant coach, he also has to replace captain Burgstaller, top scorer Grüll and three other players.

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